I was woken this morning by my aching head. Before I drank water, took Tylenol, and put a cool pack on my head, I checked my email. I received an email that I received another merit scholarship from my university, which surprised me. The surprise, however, was drowned out by the distress I was experiencing…
I’m going into my final semester of school in January…and I have no idea what I want to do with myself after I complete my degree. Everybody says that they didn’t know either, and they joke that at fifty, they still don’t know what they want to do…but it’s incredibly unhelpful. The direction I seem to be leaning toward now, though, is to take a gap year between graduation and a “career.” I feel like this is unacceptable to do like…I’m graduating and I am uninterested in something related to my major that would provide me with medical benefits? After four years, scholarships, and tons of hard work, this is what I’m choosing to do with my time?
I guess I feel like I’d be wasting my time by taking a gap year because I feel like there is this expectation to get a career-type job and therefore I feel pressured to do that too, although the idea of it makes me miserable. And I’m making myself miserable by considering what feels right to me. What feels right to me is to take a gap year.
I am being too hard on myself…and I feel bratty. I should be more grateful for the opportunity that I have to go to university, because not everyone can attend, and I should be more grateful that I have all these scholarships to fund my education. I am grateful…but I guess I just…feel like I’m not doing what is expected of me, especially considering I have these resources at my disposal.
Did the people that gave me these scholarships consider that maybe I won’t have a successful career, and therefore that all this time and energy I spent in school was a waste?
Also…I feel like every time I get a scholarship, I’m at the trough of the semester. Why can’t I relax and…enjoy my life instead of making myself sick and crying about all the stress I have?
It’s depressing…feeling like I’m never that happy. That people perceive me highly…high enough to give me scholarships or to befriend me or to date me or whatever…meanwhile I feel like I don’t think of myself very highly. Which goes back to confidence, which I’ve written about before. It seems like pressure, expectations, and confidence all work hand-in-hand. It also seems like I would see significant improvement in the things that concern me if I simply change my attitude.
If I change my attitude by forgetting about these expectations I have for myself…based off of what I expect other people would expect of me, then I would reduce the pressure I impose on myself, which would ultimately increase my confidence because a reduction in these things would allow me to perceive myself as I am: smart.
I can’t expect myself to have everything figured out. Some of the key components that may help me figure out the next steps may still be unknown. What I know now is all that I’m supposed to know, and what I know now are all the tools I need to get to the next step.
I can’t expect myself to be the best in everything all the time. I may fail sometimes, but as Oprah was quoted saying, “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” Failure is part of the growing process, it does not define me. I define myself. I am, I am, I am.
I will keep these affirmations going..but for now, they will do.