This article is dedicated to all of those hard-working, over-achieving individuals that are feeling as if they might actually implode from the stress of the future.
And just like that, the summer months have begun to fade exhaustedly into each other. Late night patio drinks with friends, enjoying the daylight settling into dusk, not falling asleep until you see the sun rising through your window. These weekend nights seem to melt into each other with every passing day.
With more than half the summer over, questions of the future seem to loom over the heads of many individuals that I’ve spoken to. For those of you who are transitioning into your fourth, or maybe fifth/sixth year of your undergrad (you may have done a couple of co-op placements, or maybe trips to the local student bar were a lot more frequent in first year than you’d like to admit and you need to play catch up in a couple of classes), the future is now… now….now…. Maybe you’re thinking of applying to your Masters, or after two or three years of dedication to the man, maybe you’ve already landed yourself a position that will keep you comfortable and happy for a couple of years until you’re completely sure what you want to be doing (who are you kidding, no one is ever completely sure). And although my late night Gossip Girl binges tell me that, man, it is oh so easy to get accepted into the Ivy Leagues, I have had to pop the dream bubble and bring myself back down to reality. That reality being, in the real world, the 99% don’t have parents with a trust fund to buy themselves into the school of their choice.
For the majority of you, these weekends can’t come sooner. With a summer jam packed full of 9-5 work days, getting overworked at a job that forces you to work 20 more hours than you should be for none of the pay, cramming for the GREs/LSATs, rewriting your letters of intent for the millionth time over (I know I have). And all for a sparkling CV and a potential letter of recommendation from *insert power head name here.* Whether you’re laying down binge watching a television show after an excruciating day of watching the sun from your window, or doing another three hours of work outside the office for another deadline that may make or break your future career, one can’t help but feel the pressure of the future slowly creeping up.
And if you’re one of the lucky ones, maybe you don’t feel these pressures at all. You, among a few others may have recognized that the concept of time is but a human construct – a preconceived notion acting as a way to measure our existence. That our progresses, our failures, the past, present and future aren’t really anything important. What advice can you offer to those of us that are too caught up in what is to come?
Discover. Go to art galleries and museums. Talk to strangers that you wouldn’t have thought to talk to in a million years. Spend the day in the sun wandering alone and find beauty in solitude. Also don’t forget to wander with friends. Share your dreams and your passions. Make goals that are realistic, and extremely unrealistic. Enjoy the moments where your heart is full and feels as if it might burst, and as difficult as it is, try as hard as you can to stop thinking. With every second the future is that much closer, try not to waste the seconds as they happen.
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
—Hamlet in Hamlet