Coping with Uncertainty: Lessons Learned from Graduating During a Pandemic
Accepting and Adapting to Uncertainty
Dear class of 2021, as someone who graduated in 2020, I understand the challenges and uncertainties you may be facing. In these tough times, I want to share the lessons I learned and the coping strategies that helped me navigate through the unexpected. Whether you're a meticulous planner or a go-with-the-flow person, we've all experienced that feeling of being so close to achieving our goals, only to have everything go wrong in the end.
Throughout my life, I've been a planner. I meticulously mapped out my goals and the steps needed to achieve them. However, when the pandemic hit and my graduation was delayed, my carefully crafted plans crumbled. It was a frustrating and unfair experience, but it taught me two important revelations: first, that life is not always within our control, and second, that we shouldn't give up on our dreams just because they can't happen right now.
Embracing Uncertainty as an Opportunity
Uncertainty is a part of life, and accepting it is the first step towards moving forward. It's a decision and a process that starts in your mind and encompasses your entire being. Once you've accepted the situation, it's time to adapt. Take things one step at a time and handle them as they happen. Slowing down and calming your mind is crucial in navigating overwhelming feelings.
Instead of fixating on what didn't go as planned, open yourself up to new possibilities. Make a list of things you're good at and explore alternative paths. This mindset led me to discover new opportunities, such as creating this YouTube channel. I realized that uncertainty can be a catalyst for personal growth and can lead to beautiful outcomes.
Choosing Your Reaction
Dear class of 2021, I can't tell you how to feel during these uncertain times because we all experience things differently. However, I can tell you that you always have a choice in how you react. I initially reacted poorly, becoming compulsively obsessed with over-planning. But I eventually realized that I only had two things to do: accept the situation and adapt to it.
Remember, uncertainty isn't always negative. It can be an opportunity for self-discovery, a chance to change the course of your life, or a moment to question everything and build something greater. Life is full of surprises, and it's the uncertainty that adds excitement and meaning to our journey.