With Spring Sing only a few weeks away, my family is starting to make plans for their third-annual trip to come watch the Thursday night performance. Even though they’re never able to stay longer than 24 hours during the hectic weekend, I always look forward to spending a few hours with them at the beginning of Easter weekend.
This year, my sister’s best friend may be tagging along so she can check out Harding a bit. Apparently, Avery’s friend is feeling pretty stressed about the future; she can’t figure out what school she wants to attend or major she wants to pursue. We’ve all been there and felt that. It’s sounds pretty normal, right?
The only thing concerning to me is the fact that both my sister and her friend are freshmen in high school.
Apparently, being freaked out over college at age 15 is not abnormal anymore. I know someone from home who sent out multiple college applications by December of his sophomore year. Those who lead campus tours here at Harding will even tell you it’s not unheard of for high school freshmen to be in the group.
While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking toward the future, I do think there is danger in obsessing over plans years in advance.
As of now, I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing this summer; I’m unsure as to what state I’ll even be living in. Is this terrifying, overwhelming and stressful? Yes. 100 percent, yes. And should I be searching for an answer to where I’ll be living and what I’ll be doing one month from now? Again, the answer is a resounding yes.
However, fear of the future should not overtake all my waking thoughts. If I go through these next weeks only dwelling on my plans for the summer, think of what I’d be missing out on. I wouldn’t be fully engaged in the weekly Stu dinners with my friends. I wouldn’t be emotionally available for a friend in need. I wouldn’t be dedicated to the work I’ve committed to do.
I would be absent.
Let’s follow this hypothetical scenario and fast-forward to the summer. If I continue to let thoughts of the future rule my life, I’ll be missing out on experiences then, too. If I am at an internship only stressing over the upcoming senior year and plans for graduation, I might as well have not accepted the position.
Like I said, planning for the future can be good and responsible. Stressing over it, however, can be detrimental.
We love to obsess over the past; we are prone to plan meticulously for the future. Why can’t we focus — even for a moment — on the present?
Why does it feel like every time has significance, except for the current moment? We’re not promised a carefree life. Each day we live will bring fears, worries and doubts. However, we’re not doing ourselves any favors by adding to each day’s worries the stresses of years to follow. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can handle any additional stress.
As we reach the end of the academic year and begin looking to things ahead, there’s nothing wrong with planning for the summer, the next year or even post-grad life. As you plan, however, try not to be obsessive; each day has enough troubles of its own. Let’s not add to them.