The looming future

Examining the fear and stress related to the future

With just eight months left before I graduate, my mind is racing.

There is so much uncertainty in my very near future. The looming truth of entering the “real world” is slowly becoming more and more real. Ever since I arrived at Ferris in 2019, I’ve thought that graduation was so far away. That it would never get here. That I have plenty of time.

That could not be any further from the truth.

You’d think that I’d have learned by now that time flies. I had the same thoughts about high school graduation, middle school ending and leaving my elementary building. All these milestones in my life were things that, at some point, seemed so far away that they would almost never arrive. But they all did eventually.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled for my future. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am now, and I have been involved in so many things. I know I’m ready to embrace the change and enter my future, but it’s still scary.

Change is something that I have always had difficulty with. I am a very structured, scheduled person who thrives in such an environment. Going with the flow has never really been my strongest suit. Research from The Journal of Anxiety Disorders explains that a fear of the unknown is a fundamental fear, essentially meaning that this fear is normal. Fearing the unknown is natural in humans, and change invokes all sorts of unknowns.

I faced those milestone changes I mentioned earlier with the same sort of anxiousness that I feel now. The reality is that each transition went smoothly, though, and I had nothing to worry about.

So why do I still feel that embracing change is not a strength for me?

I think this can be partly explained because I know that changing from college to a full-time job in my career path is the biggest change I will have faced so far. Going from middle school to high school, or high school to college, were big shifts, but each were essentially transitions from school to school. I’m about to go from school to true adulthood.

The rest of my susceptibility to change is more related to that fear of the unknown. The National Library of Medicine explains that stress causes us to play out the worst-case scenario in our heads, furthering our feeling of stress. I feel this is especially true for me because I have worked so hard and dedicated so much time and effort to that incredible moment eight months from now that any sort of setback would be devastating to my morale.

I have to remember all these thoughts are normal. Graduating college is a huge deal, and something that can be extremely stressful, but I’m ready. I am so ready.

Amidst all the stress, nerves and anxiousness is this overwhelming feeling of excitement and energy. After all, graduating college and entering a career in sports has been my dream for years. I’ve dedicated a large part of my life, vast amounts of time and tireless energy to paving my way for success.

Instead of focusing on the stress and worry, I have chosen to let the excitement reign supreme. I know the exact details of my future are cloudy, and I don’t know where I’ll end up or what I’ll be doing, but I’m damned sure that I’m going to give it my all and ensure that my past 15 years of hard work pays off.

So, to my future and any further challenges that come my way: I’m here. I’m ready. Bring it.