back when I was 16
"I think the reason why twentysomethings are so fixated on age is because we feel a pressure to be a certain way at 23, at 25, at 29. There are all of these invisible deadlines with our careers and with love..."Whether consciously or unconsciously, we’ve all fallen victim to the “invisible deadline” strong-arm at one point or another. It’s good to have plans but it can actually cause a lot of undue stress when we try to follow those plans down to the very last detail.
For instance, I made it a personal goal of mine to graduate from undergrad on time, overlooking the fact that “on time” for the average college student is much greater than the expected four years. Nevertheless, I created this 4-year-or-else deadline primarily because of the stigma associated with taking extra time. But now that I’ve graduated, I’m finding it extremely difficult to register and pay for the prerequisite classes that I need for grad school…classes that would have been free.99 if I had just taken an extra semester of full time classes. And as a result of having lingering classes to take, I got placed on the first tier waiting list for my top grad school choice and the seats were filled before I was offered admission. It's like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and having it suddenly vanish, b.
I’ve learned the hard way that you should never box yourself in with plans that are absolute. And above all else, never allow what everyone else is doing put unnecessary pressure on you and interfere with the goals that you have set for yourself.
Make plans. Revise your plans, and then revise them again. Graduate a semester “later” than expected if need be. Take a semester to go abroad. Date freely without feeling the need to settle down at first sign of promise. Talk to people who are in the place you want to be in, and you'll often find that their path wasn't perfect either. WHATEVER you do, do it unhurriedly. If things don't work out just like you planned, it is OK. After all, I once heard someone say, “What need is there to worry yourself with arbitrary deadlines if you serve the Author of Time”. (Sidenote: See Jeremih 29:11-13)