By Stefanie Green
Life isn’t going your way? Join the club.
Do you feel like you are wasting your time? Do you believe you are on a different timeline than the people around you regarding your career or the time it takes to graduate? Join the club.
At one point or another, we've all been guilty of logging onto social media and immediately comparing our lives to other people's lives. Maybe a colleague announced their new position on LinkedIn or a friend from college posted pictures of their new house. Sometimes it might feel like everyone around you is accomplishing their goals and living out their dreams, and you feel stuck.
I could not return to college in the first semester of 2021 due to the lockdown during COVID. I had so many plans, and nothing seemed to work out, and it was hard seeing my friends return to school without me. I was nervous that I would fall behind and wouldn't be able to graduate on time. I had envisioned getting my degree in four years and graduating with my classmates. But instead, I took some online classes, worked hard that semester, and caught up. And several of my classmates had taken time off during Covid or had changed their majors, which pushed back their graduation dates. Finally, I realized that completing my degree in four years wasn't realistic for me, and that was not so bad after all.
So, how did I go from panic to a real direction? These are a few ideas I used to recreate my path to success in my career.
Understanding Your Unique Timeline
Various factors can impact the speed at which we can actualize our dreams. An example of some possible factors are:
Major life events
Career or degree transformations
These factors affected everyone during the pandemic. Maybe you needed to take a gap year in college to work and save money, or you had to become a sick parent's primary caregiver and provider. Covid-19 was an unexpected event in everyone's lives. It set weddings and graduations and our personal lives on hold. There was no way of knowing when life would return to normal.
When circumstances are out of our control, it can feel isolating and make us nervous. I learned that it's important to remember that every person has moments in their lives when things do not go as planned, and you are not alone. It's not your fault how the world put things on hold, but it's your responsibility to continue moving forward. Events can delay your progress, but with the right outlook, every situation could work in your favor, and you may find a better path along the way.