Recommended listening: Dare You To Move by Switchfoot
I have little to no idea where I will be one year from now.
In 365 days I could be scurrying to class, head down, as snow whirls around me and the lake glistens in the distance. I could be living with my best friend and enjoying the comfort of having my brother just down the block. I could be a couple hours away from home, reaping the benefits of one of the best Psychology programs in the country.
In 365 days I could be strolling to class wearing a T-shirt, enjoying studying in the sun and eating by the river. I could be living with a stranger. I could be hundreds of miles away from home, reaping the benefits of a new, diverse location and impeccable double-major opportunities.
Or, I could be doing something completely different in an entirely unknown place.
It's officially second semester my senior year, and by May 1st I will be committed to the academic institution of my choosing (given that they already chose me). I know that I am incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to succeed, study subjects I am passionate about, and explore and grow as a person. I am consoled by the fact that, at whichever college I select, I will have the chance to achieve.
However, the comfort is short-lived. I would be lying if I said that my anxiety about the future isn't always bubbling in the back of my mind. One primary element of my struggle to cope with the uncertainty is that fact that, not only am I unsure of what the future holds, I am unsure of who I will be when the future arrives.
What has defined me?
My home. My family. My friends. My school. My hobbies. My outlook. My past experiences.
The list goes on and on. The bottom line is that, up to this point, who I am has simply accumulated over time. I have always lived in the same town surrounded by the same people and participated in the same activites. Although there have certainly been unexpected shifts throughout my life, the other constants have helped me move forward. My fear is that, once I'm finally on my own, the sudden change to everything around me will be too much to handle.
What will define me?
Once I do get to college, all I will have is myself. The moment I fear most is when my parents have to leave my dorm room and I'm just left there -- alone. At that point in time, my identity will be all I have to hold on to. As I get settled in college, the consistancy will come from within myself as I pan out my plan. From my identity, the reality of my future will be shaped.
To my wonderful readers...
For those of you who have moved on to that next big step, what did you learn about yourself? What aspects of your identity have you held on to the most?
For those of you who are contemplating what's next, are your anxieties similar to mine? How are you going to decide?
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.