The Nervous Ramblings Of A Final Year Student

I have never felt so content in my life.


Final year of college, financially average. When I was in secondary school there was always the "this is fine, but I can't wait for the future," voice inside my head. I always believed that out in the big bad world was where I wanted to be. I didn't do TY or take a year out. I specifically chose a college course that was only 3 years long just so I could get out into the world as soon as possible. Now that my college life is a mere 6 months from ending, I'm wondering why I rushed so much. I kind of want a remote to pause life for a while. Just while I get my head straight. Please?
Of course I am still excited at the idea of seeing the world. It's just that I'm afraid it won't be as amazing as I made it out to be in my head. There are so many problems that no matter how hard you try, you cannot avoid. Money. Time. Career. Youth. Family.


All of these things are spinning around in my head. How will I get the money to do what I want while I'm still young? I don't want to spend two years working at a horrible job that I hate in order to travel for 6 months, spend all of it and come home completely broke and deflated. Money makes the world go around, but will it let me go around the world?


How will I get time to do all of the things that I want to do? The answer is that I won't. I'm at that age now where "anything is possible." But it really isn't, is it? If I travel for years, I'll have no experience career-wise. I won't have paid my dues and climbed my way up the ladder of whatever profession I get into.


That's another thing. Career. What a word. As a 20 year old I have no idea what I want to do. And yes I've heard everyone tell me "what will be will be, you'll find something you love." I pretty much know this isn't true. I don't know one adult that loves their career that much. And if they did at some point, there's nothing like working for several decades to shake that out of them.
I've always wanted to travel in my twenties. But now there's a voice in the back of my mind saying why not stay and build a life? I could have the whole husband and kids thing early on. I could find a position at some company and work at it until finally when I'm 43 I have a job that doesn't make me hate my life. Which scenario is the least wasteful of youth?


My family are another thing. I would love to spend some time at home with my parents. But will I end up resenting them because the little town will begin to suck the life out of me? Or would I be completely happy back home, working in some job that isn't the best, yet isn't the worst. Should I travel around to my siblings and ask them about their choices. Did you make all the right decisions? Would you change anything? PLEASE JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE.


I know all of this sounds very cynical, but to be honest this is therapeutic for me. These thoughts go around my head constantly and categorising them has made me feel a lot better. It has also made me kind of hate myself for sounding like a spoiled, entitled brat. I don't think I'm better than everyone. I don't think that I have the right to a perfect life. I'm just kind of muddling my way through and hoping that I'm doing things that will make me happy.
My one true goal in life is to be happy. Of course it would be lovely to be successful, rich, well-travelled, creative and loved by all. But as long as I wake up in the morning and think "this could turn out to be another great day," I think I'll be ok. I don't want perfection, I don't want to wake up every morning and jump out of bed and dance around the room. I just want the chance to wake up every day and feel hopeful. The one thing that I never want is to feel hopeless.


So I will carry on. This is my final year in college and I couldn't be having a better time if I tried. I have amazing friends and family. I love my living arrangement. (Luxurious campus apartment with my friends, paid for by my parents = dream) College is going great and I'm very comfortable with where I am. After this year, the real stuff begins. I know that wanting to press pause is a silly idea, because if I had pressed pause on my life a year ago, I wouldn't know all of the joys I feel today. Life will get better and better I know. It will also have lows, this I also know. I am excited for all that's to come, but for the moment, I would just like a little more time. Being a little scared for the future is allowed isn't it?


Pause, please?
Áine O'Donnell

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