Anxieties and Uncertainties: Getting Ready for Senior Year

The anxieties that come with becoming a senior and reminding myself to not panic. Photo by Tonik on Unsplash.

By Leah Quintero, Staff Reporter.

Ever since I was younger I have always been diligent when it came to my education because I always had a plan. If I didn’t have one I would fall off track and growing up as a kid without any strong parental guidance, for my own sake I couldn’t have that. 

So I planned everything out. From when I’d complete my homework to when I could rest. I planned out the jobs I might want to pursue. What I didn’t plan is the uncertainty of going into my senior year and not knowing what the future holds. 

It was when  COVID-19 hit during the second semester of my freshman year that this resilient mindset I had created for myself, slowly started to crumble. There was nowhere to go during quarantine. All I had were my thoughts which nitpicked everything I did to the point where I couldn’t function normally. 

The pieces I crafted so carefully by taking my time to make sure they would not fall apart, were doing just that, and leaving me in a strange state of immense confusion. 

As I walked forward, continuing on with my life to prepare for my senior year of college, the pieces that fell were left behind. 

Now what has filled those empty spots is this overwhelming sense of uncertainty. An uncertainty I ignorantly believed would never apply to me because of how thorough I was in planning my future but little did I know that uncertainty would be knocking on my door as I’m getting ready to go into my senior year.

Having that apply to me is terrifying because being uncertain is risky and as someone who plans things out, the risk isn’t something I particularly like. It’s something that can’t be controlled and control is all I’ve really known. 

With the pressure of being the first one in my family to get this far in college and the stress of helping my father raise my three younger siblings, feeling as though I have no clue what I’m doing with my life, what I want to do with my life, where I want to go and who I want to be, has really made it harder to breathe. 

To me, choosing which classes to take was the easy part. I could choose them ahead of time and determine whether or not they would help me with my degree. They had also been laid out since the moment I chose to pursue a journalism degree by my advisors. The hard part is figuring out whether or not journalism is in fact my calling in life.  

Journalism is and was on the long list of “safe” careers I chose for myself. Seeing journalists go out there and report on the things they saw, intrigued me. I thought I wanted to do that too. I still think I want to be that. 

This is ironic considering I’m writing an opinion piece to be published in CSUDH’s school newspaper, where aspiring journalists alike go to share their own stories and ideas. Yet, this has been my attitude lately. 

Getting this far has been stressful. It’s even more so when I take into account the fact that I still have another lap left to go in this race to the finish line and the uncertainty of what I will do once I reach it continues to grow. 

It’s scary to think I don’t have all the answers this far into the game. It’s even scarier to let myself understand that it’s perfectly okay that I don’t have all the answers. For anyone in the same position I am in, they too probably understand this uncertainty. 

Who knows, maybe all of this is just a fleeting moment that has come with the everyday stressors of life, school, and my sometimes cruel mind, and perhaps that overachieving mindset I once had will come back again. Or maybe it won’t and I’ll have to start from scratch. 

Either way, I’ll continue to move forward, one small step at a time, until I know with certainty, what it is I want to accomplish in my last year and beyond that.