Grappling With Uncertainty


Written by Gena Crepault 

Uncertainty sucks.

If it was something physical that I could throw in a bag and toss into the trash, I would. Uncertainty leaves you stranded on a tiny island in the middle of a giant sea of emotions, half-baked plans, and outright panic.

I'm graduating this May and I’m terrified.

I’m so used to having concrete plans and a set route that I can see ahead of me, but what’s ahead of me is currently a big honking question mark. I’ve really enjoyed telling people that I’m “taking a year off” to think about whether I want to go to grad school. It’s partly true, but I’m also partly about to spend the next year having a couple of existential crises and reflecting on the last 21 years of my life. I’ve started applying for jobs, but I don’t know if I want a job just yet. I’ve looked into the price of working holiday visas in various countries, but I don’t know if I want to leave Canada (or Vancouver, for that matter). I’ve spent far too much time looking at admission requirements for grad schools, but I don’t know if I want to commit another 7 or 8 years to school.

My life is just a huge “I don’t know”. 

 I’ve become decently good at walking myself through a myriad of negative emotions (a byproduct of managing my anxiety) – heartbreak, defeat, disappointment, anger, sadness. Uncertainty is one that I still have yet to learn how to handle. But here are a few points that I’ll be arming myself with in the next few weeks as I approach doomsday….aka my graduation:

 

  1. It’s normal. Painful and stress-inducing as it is, it’s normal. Emotions are always tricky because you feel all out of whack, but it’s normal to feel uncertain. And like a fish flopping around on dry land when you’re about to graduate.


  2. It sucks, but uncertainty also goes hand in hand with vulnerability, which is where we know all the good stuff happens. Being uncertain makes you test out the waters. You survey your options, and along the way, discover and try new things. 


  3. Uncertainty is healthy, in some ways. If life was easy and straightforward you’d be bored and would probably lose interest and passion in the things you did.

 

I’m scared to graduate, but I know that good things will come.

I don’t know what they are, and that is incredibly unsettling, but I know that I need to trust the journey and trust in my future. The same goes for any other situation that breeds uncertainty. It’s not something that should be feared or avoided- if anything, uncertainty should be faced head on. And try not to overthink – you’ll realize too late that you’ve thought yourself into a never-ending circle of stress. Let the uncertainty happen, and let it work its magic. You’ll be glad you did.

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