The difficulties of looking beyond university

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Is it ever okay to not have your mind made up? 

Of course, it seems obvious that the answer is unequivocally “yes.” 

There are countless articles already in this newspaper alone from writers coming to terms with the fact that the possibilities are endless and inevitable. 

But that’s hard to accept when your stance was previously set in stone. 

One of the most dreaded questions on every university student’s radar is the classic “What are you going to do after school?” 

That was never an issue for me. Since high school, I knew I wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge for my Masters. After that, I’m not entirely sure. That’s always been my goal and about as far as I’ve thought ahead. 

I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I really want any more, but I haven’t changed enough to give up. 

So far, this year has been particularly hard for me. I’ve been sick for the entire semester, and it’s not the type of sick that you clear with some Halls and a lot of Kleenex. 

From being sick, I’ve been constantly tired. I’ve never felt so burnt-out as I do right now. That, of course, has transferred to my mental health as well. 

To break it down to the simplest terms, nothing seems important at all right now. Nothing seems like it has any point and finding some meaning in the business of my life has gotten really hard. 

My previous, ambitious goals almost seem as if they’re not only unattainable, but they also seem pointless to my depressed mind. 

My interests haven’t really changed, they are just developing in a way that’s unfamiliar and I’m uncomfortable with. 

It’s hard for me to just “be.” Am I still trying my best? Absolutely. But right now, my goals seem more like facts about my character rather than things I actually want to accomplish. 

That’s terrifying. 

For the first time in my life, my mind isn’t made up. I don’t know what I want to do next semester, let alone what I want to do in the world beyond Laurier. 

And I’m in constant fear of making the wrong choice and being stuck with it for the rest of my life. 

That’s why I’m refusing to give up. Even if everything seems pointless right now, I know if I achieve this path that I’ve always wanted, I’ll have at least made my past self proud and I’m on a path that will open doors – where I won’t be stuck with one bad decision. 

And I think that’s the same for life. 

I’m so lucky that I never regretted choosing Laurier. As critical as I am of the university as a journalist, I feel welcome and loved here. I have opportunities I wouldn’t have had at any other institution. 

But beyond Laurier? When we toss our hats into the air and collect that metaphorical knowledge in the form of a piece of paper at the end of the stage? 

It’s hard to see what’s right for each of us until we’re facing it in retrospect. 

In the meantime, I am trying to find the meaning in life by giving life meaning. 

I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I really want any more, but I haven’t changed enough to give up.  

Even if I don’t get what I want, the journey towards the goal will provide me with experiences I can use in other capacities. 

Life isn’t over because the meaning seems to be. Having a goal and striving towards it will put meaning into otherwise empty days. 

There’s nothing wrong with being confused, as long as we make it count in the long run. 

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