I have always been known as “the girl with a plan.” In high school, my plan was to graduate, go to college, receive a journalism degree, and graduate college with a job as a broadcast journalist close to home.
Yet, halfway through my college career, I realized that life doesn’t always go as planned. For some, life may pan out exactly the how they imagine, but not for me. In fact, I would say that roughly half of my initial life plan didn't pan out as I had anticipated. The other half? Totally unexpected.
Photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash
In short, I graduated high school with a scholar’s diploma and a status of magna cum laude. I attended college in pursuit of a journalism degree, and spent the first two years studying to become a broadcast journalist by working as a general assignment reporter and assistant producer for student media.
Eventually, journalism became a moot point and I was no longer excited about my life path, which had been planned out since middle school.
When life doesn’t go according to your plan, it is important to understand that you did not fail, and life did not fail you. Oftentimes, when we feel that life is not turning out as planned, we stress over the next steps and how we will move on.
We constantly ponder over what went wrong, why we let something happen, and the choices we did not make. We anxiously try to map out a new life plan, when in fact, it will likely never work out accordingly.
A life plan acts as a road map, helping us achieve our hopes, dreams, inspirations, and aspirations. It sums up who we want to be and what we want to accomplish in our lifetime. Life, however, is not a straightforward path, and we should work to improve and modify our life plan every single day.
Rather than heading straight to the finish line, we should bravely take an alternate route so we can experience all the ups and downs of life. When life doesn’t go as planned, giving up is not an option. We should work to build a strong and happy future by enjoying the present and leaving the past behind.
Sure, we will be lost and confused. We will be frustrated that our life plan did not work. However, the reality is that life is unpredictable, and as a result, we must learn to overcome our failures and grow stronger. We should worry less about what we hope to happen, and we need to stress the value of what is happening in our lives at the present moment. The best way to manage the unpredictable nature of life is to go with the flow and focus on the present. Concentrate on what’s going on now, rather than stressing out over creating a new life plan or changing the present to match your original life plan.
I could not have predicted how my life would turn out. Yes, I graduated from college with a journalism degree like I always wanted. However, I also found other passions and became a campus leader and an advocate. I also moved 1,000 miles away from home to start a job three months after graduating college as an event coordinator for a nonprofit. I now accept the reality that life will not go as planned, and we should all hope that life will go as planned, but expect that it never will.
Sara Kim graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and a double minor in Health Policy and Management and Asian American Studies from Ithaca College. She currently works as an Event Coordinator at a non-profit. In her free time, she enjoys working out, reading, watching movies, and cooking. Fun fact: as a foodie, she loves to try new foods and travel to new places.