Contentedness Amidst the Unknown

Posted on November 23rd, 2010 by

Hey everyone!

Here is the University I will be studying at next semester and part of the reason why I have been contemplating the unknown lately.

Here in the CVR, we decided it would be nice to have the interns eachtake a turn writing a blog or two. So instead of Ben, I (Anna Swenson) am sharing what I have been pondering lately. I am a Junior Accounting Major and Scandinavian Studies Minor who is going abroad this spring at Uppsala University in Sweden.  Anyway, here is what has been on my mind lately…

I find it fascinating that it is always easy to tell when course registration is approaching each semester. One clear sign of this is that far more students make appointments with Chris and Amy in the CVR to discuss the seemingly pressing question, “What do I want to do with my life?” But even beyond this concrete reminder that registration is coming soon, the campus as a whole often seems weighed down but the pressure of the future. The registration deadline inevitably causes some degree of stress about the impending unknown.

I can fully relate to this sentiment. As a freshman, and even into my sophomore year, I felt I needed to know exactly what I wanted to do at Gustavus and beyond. I somehow thought that by determining my major, my four year course schedule, my summer job plans, where I wanted to live after graduation, what type of job I wanted and endless other decisions about my future would be less scary than not knowing. I was willing to arbitrarily make decisions so that I would at least have an answer, even if it wasn’t the best fit for me.

But by attempting to make such serious plans before allowing myself to decide what it was I truly wanted, I was limiting myself. I was so eager to have security that I was willing to give up on discovering what I am most passionate about and successful at.

Though it is been a long process, I am finally learning to be content about my future. I am realizing that by continually evaluating what I am doing and what I enjoy, that I will be able to make stronger decisions that fit my life much better.

I encourage you too to be comfortable with the unknown. Take time to ponder what you really think, and don’t feel a need to come up with an answer instantaneously. Our society is so fast paced that it seems counter intuitive to be unsure of what it is we want or plan to do. But choosing something just to have an answer is generally not all that helpful and potentially limiting. For as David Whyte once said, “What you can plan is too small for you to live.”


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