Do you ever wonder if things are going to be okay when you don’t have everything figured out? Do you struggle with getting everything together? I know I do. I’m about to graduate from UNA in December and while I know that I want to write fiction, I also know that I am going to need a plan in place to earn money until I can develop a writing career and get published. With my anxiety growing, this reality is beginning to bear down on me and I am faced with an uncertain future.

But really, is it normal for people in their early twenties to not have it all together? I have discovered from talking to everyone from my friends, and other students, to my counselors that yes, it is normal in this day and age. Things today are much different than they used to be and it is sometimes difficult to find work or use our degrees right away. I have had friends who graduated with no jobs lined up, even after exhaustive searches with no results. I myself am getting help with a job search with my local vocational rehabilitation services, and they can assist me in gaining employment and transitioning into a job that I may get. I hope to be able to work for a publishing company or even a magazine, but we will see. My dream is to complete my novel for publication and maybe that will go somewhere.

The other morning I was listening to a recording of Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto and it took me back to my old dreams, the things I used to want to accomplish, and the ideas I used to have for post-graduation. I was a music major and unfortunately I could not bear the intensity and anxiety that comes with being a classical pianist. So, discouraged, I discontinued my lessons and became a writer. I wrote in high school so it was a good second option, but I knew that pursuing a career in music performance and composition was not fit for me. I do plan on getting back into music on my own and finishing some of the projects I started, but my focus is writing now. You see, even in college I wrestled with the fact that things change and I don’t always have everything squared away.

My friends seem to all be having the same struggle and I often hear of students who change their majors like they change clothes, and they move from job to job trying to find the one that fits their skills and their goals. This has become normal in today’s society because so much around us is changing at such an incredible rate. Students will often veer their dreams in new directions, changing the course of their lives several times before finding the avenue in which they can succeed best. The whole idea is success and getting there no matter what it takes.

Having redirected my dreams and goals several times, I have learned that we change as our lives go on, and I think while some traditional generations have an attitude of “stick to one thing,” even in the past people have been indecisive as to what they want to do. I’ve decided to try and become a person of many subjects and learn in a variety of fields throughout my life so I can do all kinds of things. I have set up research plans and am working on collecting and studying sources. But what I want to do now will evolve as I go.

My counselor said that while we need to plan for the future and have goals, we need to focus on what we need to do to get through today, because in reality, right now is all we have because the past is gone and the future is yet to come. It can be anything. We need to put our energy into doing what is best for our goals and our skills and working hard to be the best people we can be, regardless of circumstance. I have obstacles, but they aren’t going to define my future. No I don’t have it altogether yet, but that’s okay. Not everyone in my age range will, even for a while yet.

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