It’s never easy to start all over again.
Sometimes it feels as if your life is a series of roads that intersect throughout your life, and once you’ve traveled down the length of one stretch, it comes time to turn and start on another.
When I finished high school, I was so relieved that it was over and excited for college to begin. However, it was also overwhelming, and a little discouraging, to think that even though I had come so far, I had to start all over again.
My first appointment with my college advisor as a freshman reinforced this point. I was handed a two-sided sheet of paper with all the units I needed to fulfill and I remember feeling completely besieged. I walked out of the session signed up for 15 measly units and couldn’t image how long it would take until I finished them all.
Each class I took over the next four years was like a mile down that long road. Before I knew it, I was a sophomore taking my first journalism classes and writing an opinion column for the school newspaper. Then I was a junior, taking on internships and challenging upper division classes. And then I was a senior, taking my last final and walking out of the journalism building feeling the greatest sense of relief imaginable.
It finally sunk in as I was waiting in line to graduate on a brisk day in May that I had reached the end of that road. However, after all the grad parties, congratulations and thoughtful cards, I was suddenly faced with the same situation I was in just four years before. It was time for me to shift, change lanes and make a turn onto the next unmarked road; the job world.
The job market proved just as unforgiving as I had imagined. I started looking two months before I graduated and two months after until I was finally hired at my first job. Then it was another six months before I changed lanes on my career path and started a new job in marketing.
However, after the initial excitement wore off, I began to feel the same sensation overcoming me again. I was right back there again at the start of a new road, feeling lost and overwhelmed. All of a sudden I found myself surrounded by people that were extremely experienced and smart, and as an effect I started to feel dumb and insignificant.
Now after four months, I’ve tried not to be so hard on myself, even though it’s difficult with so many talented people around me with decades of experience. But what I’ve realized is that I have to switch gears and change my attitude toward this situation. I need to start down this road as I have with the others in the past; with the hunger to learn and grow, while keeping my eyes on the horizon.
It’s always hard to start over, but what I’m learning is that it’s all about how you handle it. You have to take it one day at a time and keep moving forward in order stay on track. Yes, the road can be long, it sometimes winds, detours, and get’s rough, but you have to find a way to get through it in order to get to the next one on the map. Keep driving, you’ll get there.