Riding the Wave

Many of my blog posts over the last two years have been about the uncertainty of my future. I've written about how it's frightening and exciting in equal measure to not know what is next. I've reflected on the past while waiting for the future path to become clear. All of this was written in the knowledge - in the hope that by the beginning of AprilI would know what I'm doing next

Plot twist - I don't.

Perhaps naively, I assumed the vast majority of people would apply to university, end up with the school they wanted, get the grades and start in September. I assumed for most people, me included, much of the uncertainty would be over by now. It clearly happens for some people but what I’ve learned is that they are the very fortunate minority. 

For most people, it is not linear. There are setbacks, rejections, choices to be made. Gap years are increasingly common - not always a vehicle for travel but one for reapplying and figuring things out. People 'settle' for their second or third or fourth choices and end up loving it. Some go to their dream school hate it. There are so many variables out of our control that predictions are fraught with risk. But the uncertainty is part of the process.  

I'm also starting to realise that this is what the rest of life is going to be like. We've been spoilt by the linear security of school, always knowing what is ahead of us. Life isn't like that. Stepping out of that rigid structure feels like stepping into a void. 

Over the past few months, I've been dealt a few unexpected cards. I had the fantasy of my future mapped out in minute detailBut the cards I’ve drawn means I need to rethink. Dealing with rejection, and the closing of a door - even if it is just temporarily - has been harder than I could have imagined. I thought that university decisions, whether the verdict was good or bad, would bring clarity. At least I would know all of my options. At least I would be able to make a choice based on reality instead of hypothetical scenarios. Once again, I was wrong. Having heard back from all my universities, I'm actually faced with different choices and I remain confused

So, how do the unlucky majority deal with the process of uncertainty? As we watch our peers cruise through to their top choices, barely breaking a sweat, how do we deal with not knowing? 

We ride the wave. 

It sounds like a cliché (another thing I'm learning is that clichés were made for times like these) but it's the best analogy for my own experience. There are times - the troughs - where you'll feel devastated. Whether it's a rejection from your dream school or simply not knowing what you want, it'll feel awful. But that's okay.  And there are peaks - the hours and the days when you feel optimistic, convinced that the future is in fact bright, and that all will work out in the end. My advice – and I’m trying to take it myself – is to dwell on the peaks as long as possible but welcome the troughs. They are part of the process, and as painful and bleak as they are, you need to endure them. If nothing else, they make you appreciate the positive times.

Hold your breath and ride the wave as best you canTry to accept that this is how the world works. 

You never know where the wave could take you next. 


1 comment

  1. oooo girl, this is exactly how i felt last year when i was applying to colleges! don't worry, rejection is part of the process. even tho it hurts my ego. it happens to a lot of people too, i was rejected from like half of the schools i applied to. some were even my safety schools LOL. i felt like my options became limited because i only really felt like choosing from 3 schools, but honestly i think it was all meant to be. looking back, i don't think i would be happy at the schools i was rejected from. i know this is a stressful time, but try to look at the bright side! and even if u make the wrong choice, you can always transfer. ur going to be okay in the end <3 i can't really help with the being undecided because that is currently me n its so SCARY, but at the same time im trying out a whole bunch of classes to try and see what i really want to do. it takes time, but i guess we'l figure it out eventually (hopefully) best of luck girly <3