Most of us don’t know where our lives are going or who we want to be, which is difficult when the world is pressuring us to always have a plan. I am here to tell you, it’s ok to not know; it can actually be quite comforting.
I am a college student and I have no idea what I want to do for a career. What I do know is that I want to get married, have a family, and continue to pursue my passions. College has been a place where I have learned more about myself than I have about my subjects, and has been a place of growth.
Not knowing exactly where I’m going has been a source of anxiety in my past, but today I am here to tell you that it can be a source of wonderment and excitement. Accepting that you don’t know exactly where your life is going is not only ok, but sometimes necessary. Here are some tips for accepting that, and some reassurances for when you just don’t know.
Life doesn’t always (or usually ever) go as you planned
Accepting that plans change, circumstances change, and that life just happens is key to accepting that you don’t know where you are going. It is important to have a plan, but being able to adapt is key to survival and less stress. Take some deep breaths, re-evaluate, and get back on the horse. Don’t have a plan? Do what makes you happy and you’ll build your plan as you go.
People change, including you
You will change; this includes your interests, passions, friends, and jobs. That is ok. When you get through college, high school, a job, or a difficult time in your life, these major milestones can change who you are and that is amazing. You will get stronger and find yourself along the way. Love yourself and embrace the changes — you’re finding your way.
Not knowing where you are going leaves your options (wide) open
Having an end goal or idea in mind is great, but not knowing exactly what that means can be extremely terrifying — and at the same time, liberating. The key to not getting overwhelmed by the unknown is to keep your end goal in mind and do what you can in the moment that will help you get to where you want to be.
Focus on what you can control
What you do every day and the decision you make will impact your life — focus on taking opportunities as they come and searching for the opportunities you can create for yourself. You want to be a designer? Go find someone that has been successful in that field and pick their brain — study them, ask questions, and figure out what you can do today to get to where you want to be. Nobody gets ahead by worrying about things they can’t change, and neither will you — do your best every day, and trust that it will work out in the end.
No one really knows where they are going, and if they say they do — they’re lying
Not having that 5-year plan in your back pocket is part of growing up — life will throw you some curveballs that you won’t expect (both good and bad) and how you handle them will be what helps you define your life. Being able to say “I don’t know” when you really have no clue is a sign of strength. Embrace it. Let life lead you where you are meant to be. And don’t forget to have fun along the way.