Posted on March 12, 2015 by Nina Zhu
For some, the idea of the unknown and the endless possibilities in the future is exhilarating. For others, the future only indicates more chances to make mistakes. Amy’s unclear future is frustrating to her. She doesn’t know what final career path her life will take. She’s spent hours working on classes in the engineering building to create medical devices and solve complex math derivatives, never quite sure if any of it will pay off in the end. But with the constant talk of ten-year college reunions as we near graduation, Amy can’t avoid her discomfort with her unclear future any longer.
At times, it feels as though the fate of her future is in everybody else’s hands but hers. Recruiters will determine if she’s qualified for a job, school administration will determine if she’ll be successful in graduate school. She can only put her best foot forward, but she will never get the honest opinions or get into the minds of those directly influencing her future. She will never know what they truly want from her.
The anxiety of being completely unclear as to what her life will look like after she obtains her master’s degree used to chew away at her. Amy knows that she wants to become a professor after her schooling but is also cognizant about the intense competition required to be successful in such a career. She truly doesn’t know if she will reach her goal after all is said and done.
Yet, as she’s watched her peers take on their first jobs, she’s found more peace with her uncertain future. She understands that she can only control so much. So, instead of focusing her energy obsessing over that which she cannot control, she’s chosen to focus on the positive aspects in her life. She has supportive friends and family and she’s gained an immense amount of knowledge these past four years. Amy is surrounded by love and laughter and for now, those are the only things she truly has control over.
Photography and Text by Nina Zhu, Copyright 2015
About The Author: Nina Zhu is a senior bioengineering major at the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015.