The best laid plans are not always for the best

Megan Walker, Columnist

Failing to plan is planning to fail. That is a mantra that type A people like myself cling to in order to have a happy and successful life.

There is nothing more gratifying than watching a well-laid plan unfold. Proper preparation leads to perfect execution, and anything less leaves too much room for error.

College is meant as a stepping stone to prepare students for the professional world, equipping them with the tools necessary to land jobs in respective career paths. Students select majors and take hours upon hours of classes that teach them skills and tactics for their specific fields.

Students complete internships and externships to gain professional experience. These internships help to build resumes, which are then critiqued and edited, ensuring that each student will beat out any competition while applying for jobs.

Students start researching future jobs at the beginning of spring semester, lining up potential leads for life post-graduation. Cover letters are then uniquely crafted for each of the dozens of jobs each student has on the docket for application.

Applications are sent out in droves, followed by a string of fruitful interviews. Jobs are offered and negotiations are made, all before spring break arrives.

That is what I thought spring semester of senior year did, and should, look like for all students. Lots of planning would lead to securing the perfect first job out of college.
I thought I would know exactly where I would be and what I would be doing well before graduation day rolled around.

As my semester progressed, I realized that such was not necessarily the case. Even the best laid plans can come unraveled, and that sometimes there is nothing you can do to keep it from happening.

Circumstances outside your control can rip plans to smitherines. Doors can be slammed shut just as you are about to walk through them. Plans are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but putting all your energy on having a plan can keep individuals from seeing the bigger picture and taking advantage of long-term opportunities.

Thanks to a few extenuating circumstances, my post-graduation plans were put on hold this semester. At first, it was very difficult for me to let go of control and accept that I would not be able to secure my first “real” job before I received my diploma.

After processing that fact, I began to realize that this time of uncertainty could make way for greater opportunities that lie ahead. Not knowing where I will be opens a world of potential job markets. Not having a specific job lined up makes it possible for me to accept a position that might come up in May.

Although I will continue to color-code my planner, schedule events well in advance and keep up with as many details as possible, I have learned to let go and see what happens.
There is comfort in what is known, but the most incredible things can happen when you are thrust outside of your comfort zone. Don’t let planning your future get in the way of actually living it.

Walker is a senior journalism and mass communication major.

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