Embrace the unknown

People always told me they loved the unknown, and I never understood them. I liked always knowing what was coming next and preparing to excel in any situation I was facing. Now, I am beginning to reconsider my disdain for the unknown and see it as an opportunity to have a new adventure.

As we get closer to the hot and humid days of summer, I can’t help but feel my chest tighten as I think about what comes after graduation. I see my friends securing jobs across the country, getting into law school and landing prestigious fellowships. But I am sitting here, and I haven’t applied for my first job. I tell myself the hiring cycles are different for the positions I am looking at, and by Spring Break I won’t be on a beach in Florida, but in my room sending my resume out to anyone who will hire me. Still, the uncertainty is intimidating, and I have to smile and say “I don’t know yet” when someone asks me for my plans after graduating.

For as long as I can remember I have been a planner. I love having a specific time and place to meet for coffee, and I like to have every day planned when I go on vacation – so I don’t miss anything the new city has to offer. Plans offer structure in the chaos of life, and they make everything fit together. Not having a plan right now is terrifying. The system that has been working for my entire life suddenly got thrown out the window. For the past three years my calendar has been booked all day because of meetings, class and events, but when I look past May 6, I just see an empty void called unemployment.

Instead of making contingency plan after contingency plan for my life after graduation I am going to embrace the uncertainty. While having a plan is amazing and wonderful sometimes you need to take things off the calendar. By embracing the unknown and realizing I might not have a job right now, I’m going to take this opportunity to ride the ways without fear of falling down. I’m lucky enough to have friends and family supporting me as I turn in cover letter after cover letter and send out enough resumes to keep Dunder Mifflin in business.

I’m not going to wallow in the uncertainty and my own self-doubt. I am going to embrace the unknown and use this time to explore what I really want to do. Instead of getting caught up in the application portals, I am going to use this time think about what I really want to do with my life and find jobs that will help me get there. I know I’ll still worry about my future until I land a job, but that doesn’t mean I can't enjoy the messy middle and all the experiences my job hunt will bring me.

Madelyn Schorr is a senior majoring in art and anthropology. Her column runs biweekly.

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