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Life, College, and the Future

I’m about to graduate college and I have never been more lost.  Some times I just want to cry, punch a wall, or just scream at the top of my lungs.  But I soon realize after that moment of frustration that I’ll only end up with stinging eyes, a broken hand (possibly a hole in the wall), and a sore throat.

To be honest, its scares the sh** out of me that in just a few months college is over.  In college, I complain and whine about work but at least there is a syllabus, a plan to follow.  After college, there is nothing.  I am the one that has to make the plans.  And quite frankly, I don’t know where to start.

No matter what I do, I always feel like its not enough.  I stay up late doing work, worrying about the future, and eventually falling asleep with tears in my eyes and a nightmare that quickly settles in to my consciousness.   More often than not, I wake up with a jolt either from the nightmare or the distinct feeling of failing or being late.

For me, college has been a never ending cycle of stress, anxiety, and depression.  Freshmen year I seriously contemplated dropping out.  I was lonely, scared, and lost.  And the best remedy for that was work.  I started my retail job and my blog.  Occupying my time with a bunch of responsibilities worked for a few months, but after fall semester of freshmen year was over.  My distractions did little to settle my fears.  In J-term, I was constantly tired.  I didn’t want to do anything but hide under the covers and mindlessly flip through channels.

Sophomore year was probably my happiest year.  I finally felt like I found my niche.  I had a routine.  And working out 6 days a week really helped too.  Burning my stress and sweating it out with fun cardio was probably the best part of my day.  And I finally had a few classes where I could see a few familiar faces.  And having people just say, “Hi!” to me as they walk by made a huge difference.  For the first time, I felt included in something.

After finals Sophomore year, I felt great.  I did well on my tests and I was done (at least for a few months…).  But as life has it, my life was a living H-E-double hockey sticks during the summer.  I had relatives visit.  And like all relatives, the popular “What are you doing with the rest of your life?” question comes up.  After replying that I was an English, you can almost here the jaws drop and the intake of air, followed by a “What will you do with that? Write?” and then they start laughing at the impossibility.

I sat there listening to their advice.  They mean well.  I get it.  But being told I’m useless and doing everything wrong is not really going to help me.  I thought I had conquered my anxiety junior and senior year of high school.  But I was wrong.  This conversation was enough to set my heart in to a frenzy.  My hands to start shaking, breathing to become hard, and endless tears to start falling down my face.  I tried to let him finish.  But I couldn’t, I had to leave.  I ran in to my room, shut the door, and tried to take a deep breath.  When I failed, I could feel myself getting light headed.  I landed hard on my knees and continued to cry with jagged breaths.  Eventually my tears slowed and my breathing became regular again. I put myself in to child’s pose and took a few deep breaths.  I don’t know how long it took me to get back to normal.  But when I went downstairs he had already left.

His words tied me down like a rock as I tried to swim to the surface.  And no matter how hard I working to stay afloat, I couldn’t constantly feel the weight dragging me down.  No matter how hard I worked it wasn’t enough because I was going down a path that would not lead to success.

I wanted to believe that I could succeed, but his words were like knives.

A few months later and a semester away from graduating, I’m still not sure what I’m doing with my life.  But I have become more okay with this.  I started freelancing a few months ago and I’m starting to see my work on various company blogs.  I even started interning for Play Channel Magazine and RVATourism.  I find satisfaction in what I’m doing.  And that is the best thing in the world.

“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens”- Mandy Hale

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