Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On the Uncertainty of the Future

I’m in a bit of a sentimental mood today. I’m sitting at work, perusing the Web on an occasional moment of freedom. I start thinking about my job, and my future.

It’s already July, I go back to school for the last time in September, and I’m still unsure as to what the future holds.

For the first time in my life – I don’t know what’s coming next. While in elementary school, thoughts about how to lead your life rarely cross your mind, and you have the security of middle school in front of you. While in middle school, you are certain of what’s to come next. You might have to choose between several high schools, but you know, more or less, what your next four years will look like. Come your senior year of high school and things start to get a little tricky.

Suddenly, you have to make an active effort to assure yourself a future. Attend college? What college to apply to? What college to actually attend? Eventually, study-related questions start to arise. What do I want to major in? How much studying should I be putting into this class?

Towards the end of college, things start to get hard. All of a sudden, you find yourself completely unsure about what is it that you should be doing. That certainty that you previously had in the importance and comfort of the path of higher education is now missing. You might decide to go to grad school, but even that will most likely require you to find a temporary job to sustain yourself economically.

I am in this weird limbo. For the first time in twenty-one years, I have no idea where I’ll be a year from today. I’m taking my GREs to leave the grad school option open — but I know that, deep inside, I’m not even sure I could commit to such a program considering I’m not sure journalism is the way to go.

I love words; I always wanted to write. The decision to major in journalism, and actually pursue temporary jobs and internships in the field, came after much thought. I realized that a mere love for words and the written language wouldn’t necessarily translate into an economically decent job. I decided to compromise with my own dreams: you can work with words, but you have to do it in a professional, even more business-like manner. Journalism seemed like the right fit: a stricter pattern of writing, but at least I got to write.

Now that I have this 9-to-5 job, I realized what exactly, what it physically means to work. I don’t want to sit at a desk for 8 hours every day, feeling my insides turning, feeling my fat forming, itching my eyes because staring at a computer screen for so long. But then again, most jobs are like that. I don’t have the luxury to sit around and wait for inspiration to hit in the hopes of writing the future American novel – my parents have sacrificed too much for me to do that.

And so I am here, staring at the future. I wish I had a compelling ending, something inspiring… but that’s the problem, nothing seems to inspire me about what’s to come. Fear, dread, and major anxiety are what I seem to be, mostly, experiencing.

This job has been a great experience, and there’s still a while left. But what’s to come is slowly but steadily approaching – and I oh-so-ardently wish I could slow it down.

Do you guys ever feel this way? Do you have any tips for getting past this feeling of anxiety about the future?

Until next time,
Ed's Web Intern

1 comment:

  1. I, like you, am an intern and will be returning for my senior year this fall. While I feel that same feeling of uncertainty - it excites me! For the first time in my life (in a year) I will be able to do what I want to do - suddenly, I could move wherever in the world I want, I can get a dog of my own, and I can decorate my own apartment. These sort of thoughts help me get past the uncertainty of where I will be working