While curled in the fetal position on my bed I contemplated the outcome of my upcoming senior year. Every worry I could ever have began running through my head like a freight train. Where am I going to live? Where am I going to work? How am I going to pay my bills? All of these things were such real problems I thought I’d have the answer to by now.
But let’s calm down, for just a second let’s not make yet another post dedicated to panicking about the end of my college career. This one will be slightly less depressing, yes, even uplifting. Do ever realize how when you have even an inkling of doubt it can multiply and completely ruin your day? It’s so easy to give into the panic and to curl up on your bed, and just go to town on a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Maybe that’s just me though.
I don’t know if it’s just me worrying about this but I sincerely doubt it. Yet with thousands of people in my graduating class it can be easy for me to feel alone in the struggle to find employment after school. Somehow I think everyone else got pulled aside at some point and taught how to find that great internship or how to land that perfect job. At times I think I missed out at some point. Mostly I know I’m just a paranoid thinker, on my days off I have a penchant for going on WebMD and diagnosing myself with random diseases. So I don’t think I should be overly concerned with my paranoia since it’s quite prevalent and usually without base.
So, in my most round about way of explaining things, I’ll finally get to my point with a list of things to focus on when you’re starting to panic…
1)Make sure if you’re paranoid about something you first evaluate whether or not your fears are valid. For me, usually they’re not. I can recognize that at least.
2) Make a to do list. This always helps me. It helps to de-clutter your thoughts and see what you have to do.
3) Clean your room. This will help you get your thoughts more organized and you’ll be able to think more clearly.
4) Get ahead of the game. I am a terrible procrastinator so this one is a bit of a challenge for me but when I get started on things right away I feel a lot better in the long run.
5) Evaluate your strengths. Obviously you’re an intelligent person, you’re reading my blog! Knowing what you’re good at will help you trump your fears. It’s kind of like going into a sports game, if you concentrate on what you’re good at the opponent doesn’t seem so scary. Unless it’s Chuck Norris, then you just don’t stand a chance no matter what, unless you’re Chuck Norris.
6) Use your support system. I have a lovely group of friends, I live with 3 of my best ones! It’s always nice to be able to talk to someone who can see you as you are and be able to give you level headed advice when you’ve worked yourself into a tizzy.
7) You’re probably not the worst of the worst. I like to think of this in terms of a zombie apocalypse. You don’t have to be the smartest, the strongest or even the fastest; you’ll survive if you can just outrun the poor schmuck running next to you. I take a Darwinian approach to this, all those people who thought it would be cool to blow off classes, not study, and just generally disregard anything fulfilling about college will pay for it when they’re devoured by zombies.
8) An amazing skill to have in your holster is a good work ethic. You could be the smartest, most capable person at your job but if you don’t show up on time, miss shifts, make excuses, or sleep on the floor of your work establishment during hours; you’re probably not going to fair well for too long. My father taught me that having a good work ethic can take you far and obviously he was right (he’s a dad of course). Being a dependable, flexible person at your job, internship or whatever you do for work will help you a lot.
9)I know it’s tough but give a 100% on about 95% of the things you do. I say 95% because in no way are you going to give your all on EVERYTHING. I’m just being realistic. But make sure that 5% is stuff you can definitely slack off on, like waiting that extra week to do your laundry or putting off calling that annoying relative for just a little longer. Stuff like that. Never, ever slack hard on the important things, like a test. When you keep slacking it becomes a habit and habits stick around for a very, very long time. Sure maybe it was a reading here or there but then it turns into, “Well that test doesn’t matter, it’s only 50% of my grade, I’ll try harder next time.” Ya, no buddy. There are so many “next times” before you find yourself begging the professor for mercy during their office hours, pleading not to give you the crappy grade you know deep down in your heart you deserve.
10) I don’t actually have a tenth thing to say, I just hate it when lists end in odd numbers.