This is the time of your life when everyone from your parents to your first grade teacher to the cashier at the supermarket won’t stop asking you what you want to do with your life. We all know the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question at interviews and on applications that somehow we’re supposed to be able to answer as if we have a magic crystal ball into adulthood.
The weird thing is, up until a few months ago I was the five-year plan kid. I had my plan and my goals and my trajectory. I really thought I was set. Then, I started taking graphic design courses and that opened up a new world I didn’t know I loved. After declaring my minor in visual arts I got to work thinking about a NEW five-year plan that involved jobs combining COM and design. Then, I moved to New York for the summer and realized that while NYC is so fun and amazing, it’s not the place for me to live permanently. So that, once again, threw a wrench in the good ole’ 5-year-plan. I’ll be honest I was stressing out.
Somewhere between all the different 5-year-plans I was plotting out for my life, I decided to quit the planning and just let the pieces fall into place, and that was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made so far in college.
At this point in our lives, we’re just getting out of our hometowns and starting to see what’s out there in the world for us. This is the time to explore and try things out and NOT lock ourselves into a five-year-plan. I still don’t know how to answer those questions in interviews, but for now I’ll probably say something corny about finding fun adventures in life.
This whole post is a bit corny, but coming from a former “stressed-about-the-future” kid, it’s so important. Throughout college you are going to have so many experiences and life changes that alter the way you want your life to be. Even if you know exactly what you want out of life, it’s a waste of time to pretend you can predict the future and lay out exactly how it’s going to go. Allow yourself to take alternate paths to success!