At this time in my life, I am faced with an interesting crossroads. On one end, I have all my friends in college who are older than me and seem to have everything together. They are going on company interviews and visits and landing jobs at amazing companies. And on the other end, I sometimes feel is just little old me: a stressed college sophomore who feels like I am so behind. I am still applying to internships and I haven’t even thought about “what salary is competitive” or “which city I would prefer working in”.
It is a difficult place to be in because even though I am not at the same stage of life that all my friends are in since I am a couple years younger, I still feel this pressure to be doing the same things as them. At times, I feel like I am behind and need to figure out what things I need to do to catch up. And I honestly feel like a lot of people feel that way. And it sucks.
In college, there is already so much pressure to be involved and get good grades and experience a plethora of different experiences that the four years on campus has to offer. With all those commitments comes with an immense amount of pressure to continuously perform at your very best and as someone who likes to plan ahead, it ends up being a lot.
I am not exactly an expert on dealing with the stress of college, but I do know that worrying about your future and whether or not you will be successful in getting a job is something that every college kid worries about and can relate to.
From my experience, the best thing you can do is to continue to trust yourself and trust the process. Trusting yourself involves trusting in the fact that you are doing the best that you can and that stressing about things that are out of your control is not a best use of your time. Trusting yourself is also about knowing that your journey throughout college and getting a job is different from those around you and that you should not compare the things that they are doing or not doing to your experiences.
The second part is trusting the process. I think that often we want to jump ahead in life and start doing the things that we think “adults” do because we think that what they do is “easier” from what we are going through now. However, that is not necessarily true. Each stage of life brings its own challenges and you need to trust that the stage that you are in and the processes that you are going through are normal for people in your similar position. I say that to emphasize that although you are indeed on your own unique journey, you are never alone in your experiences.
To conclude, even though I am writing this public article, this is mostly a reminder to myself that yes, a lot of my friends are graduating and accepting jobs. However, their experiences do not take away from the ones that I am going through and that I shouldn’t feel left out when in a couple of years, I too will be in their position.
Keep your head up friends, your journey is not yet over.