In the first year of university, everyone thinks differently.

Some are more inclined to meet new people and focus on improving their social lives. Some are more determined to do their best in academics. Others are left feeling incredibly anxious about how the next three to four years of their lives will go.

Then all of a sudden, graduation is almost here and everyone can only think on the same line: what am I going to do with my life next?

I’m one of the hundreds of thousands students waiting to enter the “real world” in a few months. That means for the past month since I have been back on campus, it’s been a fun (sarcastically speaking) ride of filling out applications and sending in cover letters and CVs—all while attending lectures, doing extracurricular activities and keeping up with my friends.

Yes, the stress of being a college finalist can be high. You can’t help but wonder if any grad schools or companies would take you in. The future seems even bleak sometimes. I definitely feel that way. I always seem to worry about whether or not there’s a place for me in society after I leave the protective bubble of university, especially since I’ve already had about ten changes in career decisions since high school. I wanted to be everything from a research psychologist (ha, thirteen-year-old self, you make me laugh) to an Oscar-winning screenwriter, and yet I have now chosen to attempt breaking into advertising.

Indecision: I’m doing it right.

Eh, life’s not fair sometimes. There could be people around you who have already secured jobs (sigh, e.g. the girl in my dormitory hall whose name I, for the life of me, cannot remember) while you are still on the prowl for the perfect sector to work in, and your hopelessness may just go up being around them.

But stressing gets you nowhere. It could even make you perform worse in interviews and blank out during exams. The key solution is to map out your priorities. I personally find updating my calendar with deadlines and reminders to be super effective, as it makes me aware of where I need to be.

And when it all gets too much, just sleep on it. Studies (and personal experience) have shown that without sleep, you’re likely to impair your memory more, and feel too lethargic to let the real you shine through. True fact.

(By the way, coffee does not make things better. Everyone knows it will just increase your anxiety. Funny story: I had coffee before an A Level exam once, thinking it would wake me up from pulling an all-nighter before, and ended up shaking throughout the two hours. Not cool.)



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    Last reviewed: 17 Jan 2013

APA Reference
Chow, C. (2010). Are You There, Future? It’s Me, Confused.. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 28, 2015, from



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