Breathe… You Don’t Have to Have It All Figured Out

You might feel like everyone around you has it all figured out – the perfect major, the dream internship, they know exactly what career they want after they graduate… Spoiler alert: they don’t. No one has it all figured out. And all the people you put on a pedestal have many of the same worries & insecurities you do.

First of all, not having it all figured out is perfectly… normal. You ask any alum about their life after college, and most will tell you about all the twists and turns they experienced. Nobody’s life turns out exactly like they planned. The truth is, deciding what career you want after graduation is not easy. So what if you focused on the process instead of the result? What if it was about “what’s next” instead of “where will I end up”? Shifting your mindset this way might ease some of the pressure.

Now, this doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for inspiration to strike. Take action! Here is some practical advice on moving forward:

  • Pick a direction instead of a destination: You might not know exactly what you want to do, but think about a general direction. Follow your curiosity.
  • Get a buddy: Find a friend to do “career stuff” with you. Join clubs together. Attend events together. Things are always a bit more fun with friends. Help each other.
  • Do something every week: See a career advisor. Work on your resume. Reach out to an alum. Build weekly consistency.

Take a deep breath. Seriously, just breathe. The pressure to have it all figured out is immense, but trust yourself and your ability to make progress by taking small steps. And if you need a reminder, come back to this post and know that you’re not alone in this exciting, yet often confusing, phase of your life. You’ve got this!

PS. If you want to talk about any of this – or other career-related topics – feel free to stop by for “Career Coffee Chats with Gene” in Lillis 140.

  • Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 – Wednesdays, 10-11am
  • Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 – Thursdays, 2-3pm

By Gene Rhee
Gene Rhee Executive Director