Journal

It’s Okay To Not Have All The Answers

Hi everyone! Now that spring break and a fun weekend celebrating St. Patrick’s Day have passed, I wanted to hop on here and write a little bit more of a personal post. I’m excited to write this check in after being home for spring break. During my spring break I had an “a-ha” moment that was a long time coming. College has been a great experience but it has pushed me to realize more about myself. I am someone who likes to know what’s going on and I struggle with uncertainties. After many phone calls while I was away, combined with conversations during spring break, I came to a conclusion: it’s okay to not have all the answers.

My first time leaving home and experiencing college life has taught me a lot of lessons. I plan on writing a full post about lessons from college at the end of the semester. But this lesson has positively changed my outlook so I don’t want to wait to share it. Anyone who knows me knows that working with uncertainty and change are big challenges for me. Even though I don’t like to admit it, it’s the truth. A big fear of mine is not knowing what’s ahead and how it’ll impact me.

Transitioning to College

Overall, I would say I adjusted rather quickly to life away from home – luckily I have an independent personality. I have a great group of friends, a productive daily routine, I’m doing well in my classes, etc. A common thread between all of those aspects of life is familiarity and certainty. I don’t think my transition would have been nearly as smooth if this wasn’t the case. But that does not mean it has been all smooth sailing. I have been struggling to cope with the uncertainties of my future plans and figuring out what I want to focus on studying in college.

When I left for college a lot of my friends knew what they wanted to major in – sociology, engineering, speech pathology, education, dance, etc. Obviously, knowing their majors meant they had ideas of what careers they wanted. And then there was me. I was going in as a communications major, but I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. I became close friends with girls on my floor and it was the same scenario as with my friends at home. They all know what they want to do and even have their plans for grad school. And then there was me.

Back and Forth Thoughts in My Head

Hearing that all of my friends, old and new, have big plans for themselves has put a lot of doubts in my head. Why do they have such clear visions of what they want and I have no clue what I am doing? I have lots of interests but they are all scattered, as you can tell from the many different categories in my blog. I love writing, music, makeup, and fashion but I also love math, problem solving, and I have a need to want to help people. Having all of these interests bouncing around in my head have led to a lot of sleepless nights and worrying. How can I narrow it down? What is going to really interest me? Is it all going to be worth it?

“Slow down!” – If Only It Were That Easy!

You may be thinking, slow down, you have time! Trust me, I’ve been told that more times than I can count! That’s one of those things that’s much easier said than done. I know it drives my parents crazy how much pressure I place on myself to quickly figure out what my future holds. They tell me all the time that it will all work out and that I’m young and have time. I know that they are right, but getting myself to believe it are two entirely different stories. It’s hard for me to step back when I don’t have my next steps planned. Being told to slow down often has the reverse affect on me. Rather than slowing down, I feel like I can’t slow down until I’m ahead. But this mentality of always wanting to know what’s ahead and being prepared has set me back in a lot of ways.

The setbacks may seem minimal in the grand scheme but in any given moment it can feel like it is taking over my whole brain. I’ll get an idea in my head of what I want to do, convince myself it’s the perfect choice, and then doubts creep in. The uncertainties of what’s ahead fill my thoughts. Then the downhill spiral happens and I convince myself it could never work. After that, fears of the “real world” and the unknown take over. But I’ve realized that it doesn’t need to be this way.

Accepting the Unknown

It wasn’t until this spring break that I have learned to accept that it is okay that I don’t have all the answers. I am learning to accept that I don’t get the pleasure of knowing the answers to questions of what’s to come. Honestly, I do still struggle with it, but I am understanding that it is my reality. I’m also attempting to low down and take time. When I don’t know what’s to come I get worried and want to rush through to see the finish line. But if I do that, than I am going to miss so much around me. I am at such an exciting point in my life and I want to enjoy it as much as possible. Even if you are at a different point in your life, the same mentality still applies. Not to be too cliché, but we do only have one shot at life. I don’t want to look back and realize that I was beating myself up over things I cannot control. So for now I am going to try my best to take control of what I can and let God do the rest!

People reading this might be thinking I am being dramatic given I am only a college freshman. But I disagree. Even though I am nineteen doesn’t mean that my worries aren’t legitimate. I know I’m not the only one who needs to hear it’s okay to not have all the answers. But I am hoping that someone reading this, no matter what age, might find comfort in it. Knowing that you are not alone and others are dealing with this, even in different stages of life, can be very reassuring. I know this post is a little scatterbrained and acting as my own personal journal. But I wanted to share this because pressure and uncertainty can feel heavier if you think you are alone. 

Before you go…

I really hope that you enjoyed this post and that it is one that you find yourself coming back to over time as a reminder. Please feel free to share this post and spread the word about Life with a Pop to help this community grow! I would love to hear your thoughts on this and any other topics you’d like me to write about in the comments below! Don’t forget to follow me on social media (on the side bar and below) and subscribe to my email list to stay up to date on my latest posts!

(9) Comments

  1. Love this post. And you’re totally valid in saying that it’s okay despite you being a freshman. I’m far done with school, but it’s so great to see gals like yourself knowing it’s okay to take your time to figure things out. It’s definitely something I could have used when I was a freshman!

    1. Lizzie says:

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

  2. I so appreciate this post because you are so young and self aware and it’s great that you are coming to these realizations so early in life. Learning to be ok with not knowing is huge! I am newly 31 and I still battle with wanting to know EVERYTHING before it happens. Lol!

    1. Lizzie says:

      Aw thank you so much, that means a lot! Hopefully we can get better at accepting the unknown!

  3. Jean says:

    That was a very thoughtful and honest post. Realizing that you don’t have all the answers might allow you to grow the most!

    1. Lizzie says:

      I agree and thank you very much!!

  4. Dad says:

    I am very proud to read this. I always hated when people told me to wait until you get into the real world. Nonsense. No world is ore real than the one you’re in. Reality is not tied to pay checks , mortgages and bills. Reality is simply “now.” Your on your way to having a settled “now.” It comes with Yoda and downs, but that called life. A heart monitor shows your alive when the life line is fluctuating up and down. When it goes flat…it’s over. The ups and downs are all part of the ride. They provide the “pop!”
    Keep up the good work. I love you!

    1. Lizzie says:

      Thank you!! And I agree with everything you said! Love you!

  5. Oh man, don’t worry, I think we all feel this way! The determination to work out what the future holds and try and get all the pieces in line for it now, while everyone tells you not to think about it and just go with the flow! Easier said than done 😂 but I’m getting there!

    Rhianna x
    http://www.tsundokugirl.com

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