It's Okay To Have A Vague Life Plan, Because No One Can Predict The Future

It's Okay To Have A Vague Life Plan, Because No One Can Predict The Future

Because the truth of the matter is, no one knows what the future holds.

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The Scenario

Imagine this: It's Christmas Break and you are fresh out of Fall semester, with weeks to decompress and plenty of time-finally-to figure yourself and your goals out. Which is definitely easier said than done, but hey, it's gotta happen at some point. As you sit around the dinner table on Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Festivus, whatever floats your boat, your family shoots questions a million miles a minute about your major, your love life or lack thereof, and your big plans for the future. And if you're anything like me, you don't really have one of those yet.

A plan, that is. And your family might not understand that, and they probably won't understand your major if it's not Pre-Med or engineering, and that's okay. They most likely won't be on board with you buying a ticket to Bali tomorrow like you really want to, in order to add some "worldly perspective" to your life. Didn't work for me, might not work for you either. And that's okay. It's really going to be okay. And here's why.

The Dealio

Creating a life plan is something that is necessary so you can point your sails in the right direction rather than casting a net out to who-knows-where and just hoping it'll land in the right place. Which, to be honest, is exactly what I have been doing throughout the duration of my college career, and still am doing because figuring out what to do for the rest of your life is hard and difficult work, people! Family, I am looking at you! And that's okay; but some people over the holidays may not understand your vague life outline and your current goals, and to be fair, the outline of my own plan is pretty blurry to me too, so I wouldn't expect them to see it better than me anyway.

If you are one of the lucky ones that has a solid plan, that's great! Run with it and turn it into a passion that you can't wait to talk about if someone asks you about it at dinner. When we rode home from my Grandma's house on Christmas, my dad was going to ask a family member that couldn't make it to dinner about something he wanted to know about in his line of work, construction, in order to learn more about building a new house. My mom said from the passenger seat, "I'm sure he's glad he couldn't make it today so he didn't have to talk about his job while trying to relax and celebrate". Which is true for many people, sadly.

They'd rather forget they have a job and never think about it until they absolutely have to. And that's okay, but I personally am looking forward to the day I can find myself a future that I will be over-the-moon excited to tell people about. I want to seek people out to listen to me ramble about how much I love my career because I am just that dang passionate about it. And sure, I haven't figured out what that career will be, but that's okay.

We're all in this crazy, wild ride together, whether you know what you want to do or not. Because the truth of the matter is, no one knows what the future holds. None of us do, even the sure-fire future lawyers and doctors. Who knows what will become of the world in fifteen years? No one does, and that's the beauty of the future. It's ours to create. So let's get creative and design one we all are excited to live in.

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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To The Girl That Wants It All Figured Out, You'll Get There

I know I don't need to have everything figured out, but I want to.

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I'm the girl that has flip-flopped on career paths, literally for as long as I knew what a career was. I started off wanting to be a veterinarian. Then, in middle school, I went to this Marine Biologist Fair at the University of South Florida and decided that Marine Biology was the way to go. After that, I began watching the show Criminal Minds and was dead-set on becoming a criminal psychologist. And after working with children who have autism, I flirted with the idea of Occupational Therapy.

Now that I'm in college, I'm working my non-existent booty off to become an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. With every single career path I just mentioned above, I laid out an extensive plan on how to reach the end goal to get that job. I researched undergraduate majors, good graduate schools, whether or not I had to get certified for anything after graduate school, and what kinds of places I could potentially be working in. The sheer amount of google docs that I have created and deleted in honor of planning out my future is beyond what my hands are able to count. I do want it all figured out, but I also want to explore my options, and those two things seem to clash in my mind.

Much of my uncertainty stems from struggling with feeling inferior when it came to intelligence, and that's probably my fault for surrounding myself with incredibly smart people. I spend so much of my time thinking of what I can't do rather than taking my time to figure out what I can. And the answer to what I can do is, literally anything that I want to do.

So this article is for the girl who wants it all figured out, but keeps doubting her capabilities. It's a hard mountain to climb, but you can do it. And here is how:

1. If you're trying to figure out a career path, talk to someone(s).

With everything that I considered being, I would look up videos and read articles about the day-to-day lives of real people that had those jobs. More recently, this past winter break I was told by three different people on three separate occasions that I should look into law. So, I contacted a friend of my sister's who is currently in law school and all it took was a 20-minute chat and me asking a shit ton of detailed questions to understand that I don't have the personality to handle the challenges that law school brings.

So, even though it's scary putting yourself out there, talk to someone and find out more about what you want to do.

2. If you're trying to figure out a major, use your school resources.

Now that you may have a general idea of what you want to do with your life, picking out a major that's right for your path might be the next step. Colleges and Universities have so many resources available to their students. Reach out to your advisors and talk to the career center. And if you happen to be in high school while you read this, reach out to your school counselor. They know a lot more than you might think, and most probably have the tools to help you.

3. Work hard and..maybe...play a little less.

If you're in college, then you clearly already have education as one of your top values. However, you've also probably felt the inclination to go out to the club and party a little bit! And by all means girl, get your freak on at the club with your friends or maybe a special someone, but don't go out so much that you lose sight of where you're heading towards. College goes by fast. And even though this is my freshman year, the time has gone by quicker than it ever has before. If you want to keep it all figured out, keep your partying at a level where you can still function once the weekend is over!

4. Use. Your. Planner.

In order to stay on your path to greatness, you have to keep yourself in line. That means, try to plan out your week ahead of time and when you feel inevitably overwhelmed and can't remember what you have planned next, you can take out your handy-dandy planner and take a deep breath because you had your own back.

5. Remind yourself that you may WANT to have everything figured out, but it's 100% okay if you don't.

One of the most frustrating parts of wanting to have everything figured out is when things don't go according to the Grand Plan. And that's going to happen a lot. So you need to give yourself a little reminder from time to time that you're not supposed to have literally everything figured out. Live in the present sometimes and don't get so caught up with where you're heading and forget where you are now, because I assure you that where you are now is pretty damn great!

I have been told so many times that it's okay to not have everything figured out, but that never seemed to ease my anxieties. Only I knew how to help myself, so I hope this article might help you do exactly that. And remember, this is only if you want to plan out your future. You can be just as or even more successful going with the flow of life.

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