Finding Yourself

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I still remember the time when I was a Senior in High School back in June of 2000. Many people knew from an early age exactly what they wanted to be when they “grow up” and how to get there. There were plenty of friends and family members who used to look down upon us individuals who were not as focused as others.. but the truth is that we didn’t care at the time and just knew that we were going to “make it”.

Graduating from High School was the scariest thing that could have happened to any one of us in the Senior class of our High School. We were content with the comfortable, laid-back, relaxed, “bubble” type of atmosphere we were living in and we were more than nervous about leaving “home”. For me, high school was not entirely about building your life and laying out the stepping stones for your future, but it was more about learning who you are and how to adapt to your surroundings (or so we thought at the time…). As difficult as times could be … with the stress, the problems, the relationships, and the drama… I think everyone was completely unaware of what life had in store for them after those childish days.

I had just turned 18 when I entered my freshman year at University and was completely clueless to my surroundings. I had mixed feelings and didn’t know if I was excited or depressed to be there. I was a lost soul who just wandered around campus wondering how I managed to grow up so quickly as I sat on a random bench on the other side of the world. I still look back and wonder how I had the energy to put up with my random roommates, the constant partying, and the ability to cope in a new environment. It’s quite strange to think that we are probably never going to get those care-free days ever again. Life seemed to hectic and I honestly believed that I was living my life as an adult and didn’t bother realizing that I hadn’t even stepped in the real world yet. I was definitely not warned or prepared of how life after college is going to be such a drastic change.

You have been in school for the majority of your life. What will life be like now that you are graduating from college? I remember standing outside my dorm room and saying the final farewell to my friends as I drove off with mixed feelings in my second hand college vehicle. The transition from a college student to a working professional had ended up affecting almost all aspects of my life. Not only have I had to adapt to my new surroundings at work constantly, but I have had to adjust to everything else around me as well.

Even though it’s easier to stay in denial at times, the truth is that friends eventually disperse to different countries to pursue new careers. You may even lose touch with your closest friends as everyone gets involved in their own lives and you are forced to build new relationships.

I guess one of the things that I have personally learnt in the past 4 years post-college is to be open to the idea of meeting new people. As one transitions from their college days to their professional lives, they should learn to grow and keep in touch with old ones as well. At the end of the day, everyone is on their own and one should be able to stand on their own two feet without having to depend on others. I look at those who are extremely intelligent yet have no social skills whatsoever and I feel sorry for them. I, for example, was never in the top of my class, never received a High-honor roll award, and never ended up getting a pat from any of my teachers and at times, it was highly disappointing. I guess I have learnt that in order to succeed, one must do what makes them happy and be able to do a damn good job at it as well. Your social skills aren’t going to get you anywhere unless you put your mind to it and stick it through the rough patches & obstacles that come your way.

Do I miss my college days already? Of course I do! I’m finally ready to admit that things will never be the same again. I will never be able to relax, sleep, eat, and hang out with my friends the same way ever again. There are never any late nights knowing that I have nothing to do tomorrow and one has to learn to be more responsible. The drastic transition brings new challenges that can be both exciting and intimidating! It may seem easy at first… but sooner or later… you will find yourself sitting on your bed at 6:30 am on a Monday morning asking yourself where your life is heading to …

This past year with the onset of the recession, I have begun to reassess and analyze my life and career path. I am now beginning to question my choices and wonder if this is what I really want to be doing for the rest of my life? Many of my very successful friends have unfortunately lost their jobs and are struggling to find another as this recession worsens. I am lucky to have my job but the insecurity that comes with seeing many around me lose jobs is hard to ignore. I am at a point where I am ready to explore options and places that not very long ago I would have dismissed but am now having the trouble to pursue them due to the recession.

Random post, huh? At least you can’t say that I didn’t warn you about chasing random thoughts …

 

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16 comments

  1. 30in2015 · · Reply

    hmm..kind of going thru the same thing myself. glad to know im not the only one!

  2. I agree with you that school days are the best days of our lives and that getting good grades should not be the criteria for measuring one’s intelligence..At least, you have a job, think about us who will graduate next year and will consider themselves to be very lucky to get a job.

  3. 30in2009 · · Reply

    Believe me, it only gets worse. Enjoy your twenties!

  4. I love loveddd this post-have felt and am feeling all that you described these days.And I still believe all of us will make it-even if we struggle on the way-but then its the struggling which makes things more worthwhile when you finally get to be where you want.

  5. John L · · Reply

    I can relate to every single think you mentioned!! I hate my job and my ambitious attitude is not getting me nowhere. Maybe grad school is the answer? I really would love to chill for a bit all over again.

  6. My Dear…i have read ur post..and i loved it..it clearly shows that u are going through some real illuminating process regarding whats life is all about. It is always good to learn life’s lesson first hand, as only then we learn it well.
    being myself gone through all that u are going through ..i can assure you that just about every one has to go through certain stages and lessons in life…the uncertainties, the choices ahead..which are many times hard to make..but…these choice will determine your fate for tomorrow/future..

    and one more thing..life is about growing up, awareness, learning, and getting strong more experienced..the wisdom will come with all that process…

    those who have already traveled on that path…can guide you..never hesitate to discuss and seek help if u ever need..
    you are not alone…there are many ppl around you..who would be happy to listen, encourage you, and provide some guidence..

    Good luck in your life’s journey

    Tina…

  7. Interesting article on whats called a “quarter life crisis”

    Check it out…I’m sure many of your readers will be able to relate 😉

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/129801/signs_of_the_quarter_life_crisis_in.html

  8. I can relate to idea about uni/college helping you with coming into your own self. I love being a student and the thought of working and being out there in the real world is a scary, scary idea. But, I cant wait to graduate and get that piece of paper for which I have slaved away for so long. As everyone said, lovely post.

  9. Tina Aunty – Thanks for your message. Greatly appreciate it.

    QLC – I read the article! Nice! ha ha

    Sadaf – Holding that degree is an awesome feeling but all I’m going to say is that please enjoy your last few weeks/months of University and make the most out of it!

    John – Let’s go back to Grad school. Wouldn’t mind sleeping till noon everyday.

    Gigi – Hopefully the market will be better by then. What exactly will you be looking for? Is there any way you can avoid the banks and try to go for consulting firms or hedgefunds?

    Sana – Best of luck on your last exam. Let me know when you’re done!

  10. Nabila · · Reply

    This definitely hit home. I totally relate to every single thing you said in your post. You know what’s even scarier than knowing that we will never have that carefree life back..knowing that I have to keep myself together and stay on track because now there are 2 little human beings completely dependent on me and any move I make..big or small…can affect the rest of their lives. If I can get through this without my kids ending up in therapy in 20 years..I’ll be happy 🙂

  11. Omar, its all so true. we’ve gone through so many circle of friends, I’m glad we made it through

  12. NC, friendship is like china clay. Once broken can be mended, but the crack is always there.

  13. lahore kebab house · · Reply

    i would just like to point out that the small white font on the black background is making me go blind

  14. Dear Lahore Kebab House,

    Unfortunately, I don’t have control over the font. This is a wordpress template and I am unable to change the font or the background color. I have taken a look at other templates on wordpress but they aren’t that great …

    Is it seriously a problem? Can you not read it?

    Thanks,

    OUH

  15. “I will never be able to relax, sleep, eat, and hang out with my friends the same way ever again” – OUH

    I don’t think I would wanna tell kids a generation behind that their life is going to really suck when they get old.

    It’s like when you’re in grade 1, you’re learning how to learn, and by grade 10 you know a lot of things, but then by the time you graduate out of college, you know a lot more than you knew when you were in grade 1.

    You’re evolving, we are all. You are shaping and making your life. Life is not about relaxing or peace; it’s going through the motion and evolve.

    I like to believe that life gets better day-by-day, and I make sure that I make it happen. I constantly get told that it’s impossible, but it is like that; it works for me, and I’m sure it’ll work for people who’ll work towards getting it.

    Good luck with everything. Just keep the ball rolling.

  16. Ijaz Ul Haq · · Reply

    Great write up. Everyone can relate to it. Its funny when you are young and moving on you want to run. Oh,i want to be in grade 10 and get quickly through your high school so that you can go to college and get rid the parents and be on your own. Its time to look forward to graduating get a job and make money. Run Run Run Time to get married have kids and watch them grow. Now you look back the kids are off to college you are alone again and you look back to see that the time really fly away. So kiddo learn to relax take life as it comes work hard but dont push yourself. Life is short so enjoy every step forward will remind you of good times you have left behind.

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