TAKING THE NEXT STEP


“We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.”
 - C. Joybell C. 


So, the time in my life has once again returned where the focus is no longer on the 'right now', but on the future. With the end of my final year at university just around the corner, the question "so what are you going to do when you finish?" is never far out of ear shot. Rather than the expected response of "oh, I'm going to Thailand for a year to find myself." or "I've got this great, high paying job lined up in London.", my response is usually internal screams and a quick mutter of "I don't know", an awkward laugh, and a quick subject change.

It feels like my whole life so far has followed a fairly structured path. School led to sixth form which led to university. Any choices that I made which dictated my future were just one of a very small handful of options. Like playing a choice based video game which will inevitably have the same ending no matter which choices you pick along the way, everything you do in your life is much more structured than you are at first led to believe. However, choosing the next step I'm going to take after university feels that much more real. There seem to be more outcomes, and more factors. This is a choice that actually matters. Right?

Everything that you do in your life up until graduation is done to ensure that you can access the career or life path that you want to go down. I feel as though all of my life, I've been prepping for this huge choice I'm about to make, only now that I'm here, I don't feel ready yet. It's as though I only really planned my life out up until the end of university, and now the question "What do you want to be when you grow up" which I've been half-halfheartedly answering since I was old enough to speak has finally crept up on me, demanding my final answer.

In this situation, the worst possible thing to do seems to be comparing yourself to those around you. This is something that I am a huge culprit of. Everywhere around me, across social media, in passing conversations in the uni library and canteen, people are getting ready for the next huge milestone in their lives. A new job in the city, an offer from a prestigious university to continue studying elsewhere, plans to travel the world alone or with friends, to go volunteering and see where the wind takes them. It is always going to feel like everyone knows exactly what they're doing, and where they're going, except for you. 

We all have our own paths, and regardless of whether or not it seems as though everyone around you has already found theirs, chances are, most of us at this stage of our lives are equally as clueless. And that's okay.

Thinking about the future is really terrifying. However, it is equally as exciting. Although change is hard, and leaving a place I've come to know as home for the last three years is going to be tough, leaving Bournemouth and university behind is going to open the doors to an adventure which will be equally as exciting as living here has been. The most important lesson, which I definitely need to continually remind myself, is that change is not something to fear, but something to welcome.

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