Coping With End-Of-Year Anxiety

As we near the end of the year, many of us are becoming anxious for our future.

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As we near the end of the year, many of us are becoming anxious for our future.

Em Claflin, Staff Writer

This is it. For us seniors, this is the end of our stint in public school. For many of us, this could be the end of our time in school altogether.

     I would be lying if I said that thinking about my future after high school doesn’t completely fill me with dread. I look ahead and I see a wildly branching path shrouded in fog, where my sense of direction and ability to see any farther than an outstretched arm is taken away and even the slightest misstep can put me on an entirely different path with no way of turning back. The future, at least when viewed from this lens, terrifies me.

     It’s difficult to put an end to such a significant chapter of your life as your teenage years, to close the book on what has, to this point, been the largest volume in the series of your life thus far. It’s especially difficult if, like me, you have absolutely zero ideas of what your future has in store for you, save for a few fragmented hints like where you’ll be going to college or what you’ll want to do with your free time. That feeling of leaving behind what feels like the last bit of certainty you have left for the decades of fog that lies ahead of you is, to put it very mildly, overwhelming. There is, however, a way that I was able to somewhat lessen this fear.

     To put it simply, I resigned myself to the uncertainty of the future. I may not have any way of knowing what I have in store for me in the years to come, but maybe I don’t really need to. I started viewing living as an experience of its own. I stopped desperately scrambling to find a purpose in my life and accepted that I didn’t need one to make the future worth experiencing. Sure, it would be wonderful to have a solid idea on the direction that my life is heading, but adopting this more absurdist perspective has made stumbling around in the fog a lot more bearable.

     I should clarify that this line of thinking may not work for everyone. While I may be content to just sort of drift around and let things happen as they happen, others might find any sort of uncertainty in life to be absolutely miserable, and that’s perfectly fine. Just keep in mind that, if you are overwhelmed by your search for a definite, meaningful path in life after high school, maybe you should stop and think about if you even need one in the first place.