“How do you cope with living in a world of uncertainty about the future?”

I’ve always gone to class with people of the same age as I was, until I arrived in America. The past 18 months at Boston University have been a revelation for me, spending time with people who were born at least a decade after I was. 

These 18 months have showed me that I wasn’t wrong about the youth of today. They are as hungry, as driven, and as concerned about achieving success as you and I. A vast majority of 20-24 year olds I’ve met are not entitled, or soft. What they are, is afraid.

Photo by ahmed adly from Pexels

But why are they afraid?

Because we all are, at some level.

For those who think kids are soft these days, I hope that you take this into consideration: For a generation that had supportive parents who helped them succeed, a future where their parents cannot help them feels like a black hole.

Don’t laugh. You and I have gone through the same thing.

This sense of “the future is a black hole” results in the following questions being directed to me, the residing Ancient of the classroom:

“Did you know you would end up in your current job?”
“How did you know that this was what you were supposed to do?”
“How did you survive after graduating?”
“How are you so sure about your life?”

My answers, in order of above questions, are:
“Never in my life.”
“I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
“I didn’t go out, just went straight to work.”
“I’m completely unsure about my life.”

So how do we deal with this… unknown future?

By being completely aware that no one knows exactly what they’re doing with life.

We might know what we want to do with parts of our lives, and we might think we know what we’ll be doing in the next 10 years, but the honest truth is that we don’t, and won’t, know what our futures hold. 

All we can do is make one decision at a time, with input from previous experiences, and verified information from verified sources. 

If we screw up, we learn. If we succeed, move on to the next decision. If nothing comes from it, you still did something. You took the leap.

At the end of the day, you can be sure that you did something, and that beats never taking the leap.

P.S. If you took the leap, good job. If you haven’t, don’t beat yourself up 🙂

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