Red Responds: Mental Haze

Ally in Windsor writes:

I’m currently in my last year of university and it’s beginning to stress me out. At this point in my university career, I still have no idea as to what my career path will be. I don’t even know what I will be doing immediately after I get my degree.

What’s worse is that right now, I’m going through some sort of mental haze where I’m getting overwhelmed from trying to find a balance between my blooming social life and my turbulent academic life. As a result of this, I feel as though my life is going to crash and burn. I don’t understand what’s going on with my life right now. I talked to others about this but they weren’t any help. Basically what I’m asking is, what is going on and when will it end? Will I be graduating from university this year and what will I be doing afterwards?

Dear Ally,

What is going on is that you are consciously aware that life is quickly going to change. The thought of leaving the comfort zone of routine can be nerve wracking. You can almost touch that degree of yours, and once it is in your hand, life as you have known it is going to be forever changed. When school is done, you will be greeted with the pride of victory, and expectations of creating your own success. That’s bound to cause a bit of stress.

You are a smart girl, but with the end of academia looming, coursework is getting more strenuous. This makes it a bit more challenging to keep up with your social life, as your loyalties are often conflicted. Do you enjoy fun and freedom with your mates, or should you be buckling down and hitting the books? Believe me, many of your peers are living under the same sense of stress and fog. Some can hide it better than others, and then there are those who aren’t quite as conscientious, so these struggles don’t impact them as deeply as they do you.

While this may sound quite simplistic, make a list of priorities. In separate columns, draft out what you want to accomplish, what you need to do to reach those goals, and what you would rather be doing if you had no sense of responsibility. Revise that draft into a final list, thinking things through by level of importance, with your long-term future in mind. While this may be a bit overwhelming at first, especially when you think about how you have been allotting your time and attention. As ridiculous as it may seem, it will help you see how to create a more productive and balanced schedule for your time. It can’t be all work and no play, but by staring at the challenges you face, you will find ways to fit everything in without stretching yourself too thin.

In terms of your professional development, you would thrive in the medical arena, retail, or any opportunity that allows you a great deal of socialization or personal interaction. You do fairly well with numbers and strategy, but that avenue can quickly become boring for you. The job market is challenging everywhere, so you will be quite diversified in your efforts to secure a well-paying position that offers the opportunity for growth.

I see your path as a bit of a winding road, ultimately ending at a place of business ownership. Initially, you will find a management position at a better class of restaurant. While this isn’t what you currently think of as your dream job, you will enjoy the experience and interaction with customers, and even like the mountain of paperwork that comes with the title. The money isn’t bad, either.

After a year or two of this experience, you will find a somewhat humanitarian position with a larger corporation. Naturally, this is step up professionally, and you will do quite well. Marriage and family will enter the picture, and afford you the opportunity to explore more deeply what you really want to be doing, which ultimately ends up in your business endeavor. While I’m not sure what that is, I am sure you will figure it out when the time is right.

Even though it may feel that way, I don’t see you crashing and burning. From where I sit, it looks like you will pull it all together and shine.

I hope this helps!
Ext. 9226

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *