It’s ok to not have it all figured out
By: Taylor Brookins
I have always been a planner. I knew what I was going to do, how I was going to accomplish it, and when I wanted it done by. My desire to plan and have things figured out was very apparent during my undergraduate college career.
I wanted to go to an HBCU; I got accepted into Lincoln University. I wanted to be the captain of my soccer team; check. I wanted to become a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated by my sophomore year; done. I wanted to graduate in four years; completed. I wanted to go to graduate school the semester after I graduated and pursue a degree in Museum Studies at Morgan State University; I was accepted by the spring semester of my senior year. I had everything figured out and was ready for the adult world. I had heard of the struggles newly graduated students faced but, surely because I had a plan so none of those struggles would come my way, or so I thought.
Life after graduation has not been easy. After graduating I felt overwhelmed with the pressures of being thrown into the adult world. I had become so accustomed to the little community I had created at Lincoln, and leaving that safe space was a struggle.
For the first time in my entire life, I didn’t know what the next step was. Yes, I had been accepted into graduate school, but I didn’t know how I was going to pay for it because unfortunately unlike my undergrad college career I had not received any scholarship aid. Yes, I had a summer job, but it left me feeling unaccomplished because I was a college graduate working the same job I had since I was sixteen. I saw all my fellow college graduates enjoying their lives and I began to experience a lot of self-doubts. I felt guilty for not being happy because this was supposed to be the happiest time of my life and my family and friends were so proud of me. The summer following my graduation from college I hid away and isolated myself from everyone. I focused on my summer job, did not share my negative feelings with anyone, and ignored the fact that I was leaving for school by the end of August. I couldn’t plan and map out what I wanted to because in my mind I did not know what I wanted to do. I entered graduate school and my feelings of self-doubt grew even stronger. For the first time in my entire academic career, I felt inferior to my classmates and I felt like I didn’t belong here. I had also relocated to Baltimore from New Jersey with no job and was relying heavily on my mother. This left me feeling even worse because I prided myself on being self-sufficient and always have plans.
I could feel myself spiraling and entering a dark place. I knew I couldn’t stay on this on this path, so I decided to take control of my life, but this time in a different way. I started to realize that everything I was feeling was normal. I had to let things be and unfold, I couldn’t control every aspect of my life. When I adopted this mindset, I started realizing I had a support system of family and friends who were in my corner. I had let my self-doubt get in the way of the things I knew I loved. I started to look at the bigger picture, and to realize that there are not always tangible steps to reach your goals. My life after graduate has not been easy but, I’m learning that it’s not supposed to be. It’s okay to not have everything figured out.
Follow Taylor on instagram @tay_bootsie