I’ve always scoffed at the whole “what’s meant to be will be” cliché. In my mind, if you want something, you have to work for it. And that’s true to an extent. But have you ever noticed that when something you really wanted doesn’t work out, it ends up being for the best? You end up with some crazy opportunity you would have never had if Plan A were a success. That’s exactly what happened to me.
I busted my ass all through high school to get early acceptance into the most prestigious business school in Canada. I had it all planned out: I would start my undergrad with two years of English Lit, then I would enter business school and graduate after 5 years with both degrees. I still remember the day I got my acceptance; I ran around my house half screaming and half crying at 5 a.m. It was the proudest I’ve ever been of myself.
And then it all came crashing down. College was harder than I expected, assignments were piling up, I got broken up with by the love of my life and my grades slipped. I thought it was all over. My plan was in shambles around me. But there was still hope—still one year to get everything back on track. And I did…kind of. I got involved, volunteered and improved my grades. But it still wasn’t enough.
I still remember the day I got my rejection. I stared at it blankly for hours. But the feeling I got wasn’t what I had expected. Sure, the rejection stung, but more than anything, I was relieved. It was like I could finally release a breath I didn’t know I was holding. It’s funny how life works out like that. I thought business school was what I wanted, but it turns out it wasn’t for me.
I had been putting so much pressure on myself to get my grades up and build my resume that I forgot to consider what I actually wanted. It wasn’t about working towards a goal or a dream anymore; instead, I was just trying to prove to myself that it could be done.
So now I’m following a new plan: no plan. Yes, I have a strong idea of the direction I want to be pointing, but I’m not limiting myself to just one path. I’ve opened myself up to opportunities that I never would have considered if I’d gone to business school. And I’ve never been happier. It’s almost like I’ve been wandering around with a blindfold for the past three years, and I’ve finally taken it off.
Moral of the story:
1. Have dreams. Have goals. Make plans. But don’t limit yourself to one path.
2. Be open to change. Try new things and take every opportunity.
3. Put yourself out there. Apply for things, join clubs, start a blog. You’ll never know if you love something if you never try it.
4. Listen to yourself. If you feel like you’re heading down the wrong path, if you’re not happy with the things you’re doing, if you’re stress outweighs your passion, then do something about it. Take control of your own life.
5. Just live the life that you want to live. Work hard, have fun, and everything will work out – I promise.