The Pursuit of the Future

As a college student, it is too easy to get caught up in the future. I am surrounded by people who share a similar desire to figure out what’s next in all aspects, whether that be professionally, personally, socially, or academically. The decisions I make are done with the intention of consciously working towards the answer to a question: what is my future? And what does that really mean?

Coming to college solidified my independency by showing me the value of making decisions that I believe in wholeheartedly. At the end of it all, I am the only one that can truly carve the path that’s meant for me, and that’s terrifying. But there’s no roadmap and there’s no directions telling me which way to go. These questions I am trying to answer are so broad; it’s as if I’m standing on the edge of the ocean and all I see are distant, hazy shades of blue. How do I know where to focus if I don’t know what I’m looking at?

I am guilty of over-complicating. I like to take time for self-reflection and introspection, and I think it is healthy. But sometimes I become too occupied with what’s going on in my head and forget to consider what’s right in front of me. I’ve learned over time that the best way to approach this question of my future is to break down my overall life goals into smaller, more tangible steps.

For example, my dream is to run my own publishing company in New York City. Right now, it sounds so farfetched; it’s a dream. It’s an answer I’ve considered unrealistic and unachievable, but I know now that it could be attainable if I start working towards it. There are many steps I can take now, like reaching out to professionals and entrepreneurs in the industry or looking at other individual’s success stories or even just taking classes related to my interests.

There is always the concern of finding and maintaining a balance though. How can I work hard and still be able to live my life fervently? There is still so much for me to see and to do. I don’t want to neglect giving myself those experiences. You only get the chance to live out each and every day once. When I look back on my time in college, what will have truly forged the memorable moments is all the times that I was surrounded by the people I love, not worrying whether I’m constantly moving myself forward professionally.

But that level of comfort and confidence with my decisions will only come with knowing that I put all of my best efforts forward when focusing on my professional and academic career. It goes both ways.

It’s important to build a level of self-awareness when considering your future. I think it’s necessary to set certain goals for yourself, even if they do seem broad. It can help give you a sense of confidence by allowing you to make decisions based on those goals, and set you on a purposeful trajectory to that future. Just don’t forget to enjoy yourself every now and then. :’)

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