Bob Marley once told us, “Don’t worry, be happy”, but for many college students and recent grads, our problems don’t just disappear with a joint and some slow-paced music.
Why, for so many recent grads, is happiness a fickle or unattainable state of mind? If we don’t know our future plans, can we ever be happy?
This is a question many college seniors and recent graduates grapple with. After graduation, many students find themselves feeling lost and confused as to what their next step will be and find out quickly that life after college ain’t so sweet after all.
Plans cut short, VERY short.
When you are in college, every single day of your life is planned out.
You have a strict class schedule, your exam schedules are given to you in advance, you have vacations at a certain time and even the weekends are planned out via Facebook invitations.
So, what happens when you graduate and the plans stop? You’ve been in school since you could walk and now you don’t know what to do with yourself. You no longer have a strict schedule, but lots and lots of idle time and in this economy, you may not have a job right off the bat.
The adjustment you may experience could weigh on you heavily as you attempt to find some footing in this new, unsure world. Instead of going to class all week and then hitting up the best party on campus, your weeks now consist of moping around your house, sending out resumes and heading out to the local bars when you find some cash in the back pocket of your jeans.
In such an unsure world, it can be difficult to grasp onto real feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
So, how does one recent grad find happiness when everything seems like a question without an answer?
Am I making the right decisions?
Whether you are in college or you just graduated, we constantly ask ourselves the same questions: is this the right choice, am I making the right decision, is this right for me?
But when do we stop questioning ourselves and just live our lives? Is it possible that we will never really KNOW for sure if the decisions we are making are the right ones?
The thing is, we can never really know where life is taking us or which decisions are going to lead us down which paths.
Think back on your life: in high school, you were deciding between X and Y school, wondering if either was the “right” choice. Now look at your life: was your decision a bad or good one?
The answer? Neither.
There are no bad decisions.
No matter what you decided last year, last week or today, your life is shaped by those decisions, not ruined or perfected.
One decision over another will never lead you astray; it will simply take you down a detour, an extended route or a new path. Know that you are the only person who can make choices in your life and those choices are never set in stone.
If you take a job and pass up a different opportunity, there is a reason for that and no matter what, there will ALWAYS be another opportunity; it’s just a matter of patience and time.
The same goes for anything; if you choose to end a relationship with someone, you will not be alone forever and will certainly date again. If you choose to skip the gym today, you can always go tomorrow and the day after.
2 thoughts on “Happiness or Security: Should You Plan Your Life or Let it Happen?”
Great article Annie! I think the idea is to make the best decision for right now, with the information and interests we have right now. Make our best decisions realizing, eventually, change is bound to come and we can always re-evaluate when that time comes — or when that time needs to come.
My advice: we need to all show up and be active, conscious and intentional participants in every aspect our lives, so we know when it’s time to re-evaluate. If we skip this part, this is when we get stuck in places that make our lives way less fun, free and fulfilling!
I’m really enjoying College Cures. Glad you’re in the arena!
Thank you so much for the kind words and sound advice! What you said is absolutely true: the only thing we can do with our lives is make decisions based on whatever it is we have to work with at the time and then go from there.
We cannot worry about what may happen if we do X or Y, or what may happen down the road. It’s all about living in the moment and finding happiness in what you’ve got, rather than what “could be” or what “may be” in the future.
Worry about the other stuff later and focus on the here and now to get you to the other stuff faster!
Thanks for reading and commenting, hope to see you back soon! 🙂
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