Everything falls into place
I am almost done with my exams and everyone I meet asks me what my next step is and what I have planned for the future. I am at a point where I often find myself flanked with so many options and I really don’t know which one I am going to choose... Is it a bad thing for me to feel confused at this time? Some of my friends are so certain of what they want to do and I am at the other extreme. I am not sure how to deal with this...
Thank you for your email and for sharing your predicament with me. Let me begin with a beautiful quote from Emma Stone, ‘What sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden but it’s not. And a lot of the time, it’s what makes you great.’ Sometimes it can be so difficult explaining to people what’s going on in your head especially when you don’t even understand it yourself.
It is alright to feel confused, after all, we are constantly bombarded with a zillion new options for skills development and careers every now and then. However, try not to let the confusion cloud your decisions. Nelson Mandela said: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Decisions are the hardest thing to make, especially when it is a choice between where you should be and where you want to be. Don’t make a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion.
After your exams, visit colleges or check online to know about different courses. Venture out and find out as much information as possible about things/fields that interest you. Speak to people in those professions, to get a better perspective and understanding of what the professional world is like and if there is any possibility of seeing yourself in it in the long run.
Every time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stop and remind yourself that it is just a temporary phase - it will pass. Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, remind yourself that everything happens for a reason and in time, everything will fall into place. Just take one step at a time. All the best.
I feel like I really messed up my exams this time. I was distracted during my study time and then lacked a proper study plan. I am so nervous about the results now and don’t know what to expect. My family is surely going to be disappointed and I don’t know what to do to make things better... really feeling angry and frustrated.
Thank you for writing in and discussing your situation with me. I am so sorry to know that you were unable to give it your best shot in your exams. ‘We all make mistakes, have struggles and even have regrets about things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles and you are here now with the power to shape your day and your future’ - Steve Maraboli.
What has happened should stay in the past now. When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should do about it: admit it, learn from it and don’t repeat it. You seem to have got the first step sorted already indicating that you are already on your way to the second step.
You still don’t know how badly you have messed up and there might be a slight chance of it being not as bad as you imagined. The only way to make things better with your family and yourself is to stay focussed and create a new plan. Forget the mistake and remember the lesson. There will always be things that you look back on and wish you had done differently and those are the choices that made you exactly who you are today. Failure is not in falling down but in staying down. Making mistakes are a part of the process of being human! Remember that nobody is perfect. Forget the past, forgive yourself and begin again. Good luck.
Life is 10 per cent of what happens to us and 90 per cent of how we react to it. Create the biggest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.
Do keep writing in with your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, stay cool and be kind.
(The columnist is psychologist and counsellor, currently working as a school counsellor.)