Back to the phew-ture

Whether you’re just starting university or you’re at the beginning of the end, we all, to some extent, share the same pressures and worries over what’s going to happen when we leave.

Perhaps you know what you want to do; perhaps you’re lost in a whirlwind of thought. Surely they’re two great places to be though? The first, a steady path to fulfil your dreams, and the second, the opportunity to become whatever you want to be. Yet still there is a sense of real anxiety, hidden or not, when any one of us dares look towards the future. The romantic idea of personal fulfilment and growth is shrouded by a minefield of doubt and the real chance for failure.

Many of us race through these thoughts trying to predict our journey. But like any great exploration, you don’t know where you’re going. That’s the point. Christopher Columbus was not on a set route: there is no satnav for life, and the destination is unknown. This angst provokes many to rush through all their decisions, get a Masters degree, get a job, get a promotion, find a partner, get a house, get another promotion, have a child, and phew! We’ve made it – the high life! But can we really list our life goals like this?

If we let ourselves be commandeered by this desperate box-ticking culture we risk letting the best years of our lives pass us by. This structure will also change – jobs will come and go, and so will love. By generating a rigid list we run the risk of unnecessarily feeling failure. This article is not against progression, rather our attitude towards it. We should all take life more as it comes and take pleasure in making more informed decisions, because if not we run the risk of not enjoying the mental nourishment ‘the plan’ had promised.
So when ‘deciding’ on a career, take the pressure off yourself, think what you’d want to do for the next five years, not the next 50. The life ladder will always be there for us to climb, but it will be interspersed with snakes to take us down the same way. Let university sharpen your mind and just do what feels right. There is no shame in taking a year out to liberate your captive mind. So the idea is reach for the stars, but enjoy the journey up there. It may take a while to reach your destination so you’ll want to enjoy the trip. Your life is the grandest journey you’ll ever embark upon and you don’t want to miss it.

One thought on “Back to the phew-ture

  1. Quite a well-written article, but not very insightful into anything we don’t already know. I appreciate that things often don’t work out as planned but this seems wholly negative. I’d like to see a future article discussing the positive side to planning ahead to counteract this waffle

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