Dealing with Uncertainty About The Future - Hello Student

Dealing with Uncertainty About The Future

As a young person, it’s likely that you have felt, or still feel, that the long-term future is a bit of a myth. An unrelated, intangible, unimaginable time years from now where you will be so far from the person you are today that there’s no point in even attempting to envisage it. We’re constantly growing – and often don’t realise quite how much until a Facebook throwback reminds us of what we were doing many moons ago.

During the formative years, between 14 and 21 perhaps, we change so dramatically, suddenly and inconsistently that it’s almost impossible to imagine a time when we won’t. How could you even begin to decide what you want in five years when you don’t even know what you’ll want in five weeks? Your entire conscience regenerates repeatedly during adolescence and until it settles, the task of making big decisions about your future careers and commitments is a very tall order. However, the older you get, the less drastic your growth is, as it plateaus. You establish what interests and is important to you, what you want to change in the world, how you want to come across and the people you choose to associate yourself with, to name a few.

Here are some ways to deal with uncertainty and confusion. There can be a lot of pressure from family, other’s successes and societal expectations, but the focus of ​your ​life should be ​you. Otherwise you’ll be putting your future self in a painful situation of either sucking it up, or sorting it out and having a life renovation when you’re middle aged.

By  Rahel Girma

Don't Compare

One of the most detrimental things you can do is compare parts of your life to other people’s. We’re all on our own journeys. Everyone has different desires, opportunities, sacrifices,
set-backs, priorities, time frames, paces. It’s easier said than done, but once you become aware of the amount of time you spend comparing, you’ll feel a weight released off your shoulders

Take note

Note the things that interest you – things you hear about or are inspired by from your surroundings. And it doesn’t have to be in a ‘goals’ way – an encouraging perspective to adopt is to think about things in a ‘what will future me wish I had done’ way.

Feed the seeds

When you find things that tickle your fancy, test the waters by immersing yourself to see if you want to pursue them further. Attend talks, exhibitions, openings – they’re everywhere and often free! Mingle, chat and explore to see if it gets you going. If it doesn’t, shut the door; if it does, follow the leads!

Ignore pressures

This is important. Often, the reason why we feel dissatisfied with what we’re doing is because we think that other people are dissatisfied with what we’re doing. Whilst it’s very difficult to shake off family expectations, it’s important to remember that most of the time it just comes from them wanting you to be happy. As long as you’re doing something that you find stimulating and satisfying, don’t worry about what other people want you to be doing, or about having to justify yourself.

Working on yourself

One of the great nuisances of today is that a lot of expectations that we face are about ​what ​we are rather than ​who ​we are. Being a good person and being good at that is a massive rarity and is a quality that should never be underestimated. Spend time building a mental portfolio of yourself – interests, likes, dislikes, passions, turn-ons and offs, what makes you tick? What does ‘success’ mean to you? Once you establish what kind of person you are, you can work out what you want that person to do.

There's no rush

We’re obsessed with instancy. Smooth planning, transitioning and success with few hiccups and immediate rewards. But life doesn’t work like that. We try things, make mistakes, learn from them, take wrong paths, take breaks, go backwards but will always get there in the end. Didn’t get the internship? Flustered by your lack of post-grad plans? Dream shadowee not replying to you emails? It will come. You didn’t get this one because there’s something better waiting for you around the corner.

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