By Beth Winze
I have never been the type of person who is comfortable with a “fly by the seat of your pants” attitude. I would like to think I am easy going and okay with anything that pops up unexpectedly, but my innate nature is to lean towards schedules, structure and rules. College hardly fits my mentality though. The only thing structured currently is classes and the consistent homework load I somehow keep up with, and that makes me completely uncomfortable. But more so this year than last I am slowly working on allowing myself to be okay with unplanned events.
I plan. Take a look at my Lilly Pulitzer planner and you would find color coded scheduling…..
Yellow for my sorority events
Orange for my homework assignments
Pink for meetings with professors
And blue for random things…….
And those are just the highlights. There is also post-it lists, pen marks that indicate side notes, and lists of emails and phone numbers of contacts for internships and scholarships. Then there is the entire page of workout routines and time I carve out for an hour-a-day gym sessions. I manage myself better when I have a schedule to follow. I am a creature of habit if it’s not already obvious. If the smallest thing slips into the schedule, I feel as if my entire day has gone to scrap. I am the prime lab rat for an OCD experiment. Take my planner away and I wander campus like a lost puppy.
But college does not allow for a 100% guaranteed schedule. Things change on the whim, classes are cancelled, homework due dates are shortened or extended, and coffee spills on the fresh white pages you just spent $3.55 printing. College causes a lot of uncertainty, and for someone who lives for certainty, you can see where there might be a problem.
I have now changed my major three times, joined a sorority after saying I would never be a sorority girl, fallen in love with a new passion, started my own research project without a professor requiring me to do it, and taking complete ownership of my future. That was totally not in my plan. I was supposed to come to college, graduate with the major I came in with, and sprint into the future I had in mind for myself.
I’m going to take a pause here to let myself laugh hysterically…….
The fact that I even thought that would happen without anything changing is ridiculous. But I am also learning that it is okay to be uncertain. I used to see it as a sort of weakness, but when you start to talk to others going through the same “crisis” as you, you realize that maybe it’s not as horrible as you thought it might be. That it’s natural to be unsure about things. That no one looks at you as scrutinizingly as you thought they might. And the more you talk to others, the more you realize they have gone/are going through the same thing you are.
So I “plan” on going through my college career 100% certain that I am 100% uncertain and being 100% okay with that.