Doubt (v.): To be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe. To fear; be apprehensive about. To be uncertain about something; be undecided in opinion or belief.
Doubt is really a terrible thing. But is something that’s apart of everyone’s life. Life is defined by what you do or don’t do in certain situations, by the choices you make and by the ones you just let fall by the wayside. There is always more than one way to do something, always more than one way to handle a situation and always more than one possible outcome to just about everything. There are times in life when you’re caught in-between the cliché “fork in the road” or “between a rock and a hard place” when faced with difficult and sometimes life altering choices. Some times the answer is easy to discern; however, more often than not (at least for me) it is much more difficult to see down each path – to see where each one leads and how to pick the best option.
Being in college I know this all too well. I started out at a community college and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had ideas on what I wanted to be when I grew up like a pilot, civil engineer, a concert musician, an Indiana Jones type history archaeologist, an architect or a career firefighter like my grandfather. All viable options and all attainable. As my collegiate career has rolled on, I’ve been able to narrow it down a certain select few which I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.
I am currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Architecture from the University of Maryland. Now you’re probably not familiar with the program but it’s an LEP (Limited Enrollment Program) degree. Meaning that – yep you guessed it, really competitive and difficult to get into. Am I just setting myself up for failure? Am I smart enough to even get into the program? What will I do with my life if I don’t get in? Am I even pursuing the right career? Questions that I cannot answer yet and questions that stress me out beyond belief. I know it’s completely normal to feel this way and to be worried about the future, but I cannot help from feeling as though I’m fighting an uphill battle that I just cannot – will not win.
Way too much uncertainty for my liking.
But is it really? Am I just over thinking all this too much? Maybe. I tend to do that… a lot.. But I really could be setting myself up for disappointment of not getting into the program next winter.
I just don’t know.. And that. Scares the hell out of me.
They say that being an architect is extremely time-consuming and that if you are not completely in love with it, you’ll hate it. From my experience in my architecture classes here at UMD, I can already tell that I have a passion for this stuff. Maybe not that burning passion just yet but I definitely don’t feel as though class is a chore and for once, I actually read ahead in my textbooks. I suppose that is a good sign that Architecture might be the right place for me. The classes are difficult for sure, and I undoubtedly have anxiety due to the unsureness but when I walk across that bridge and into the castle like building that is the Architecture building, I feel weirdly calm and happy. Even though I am actually a swirling torrent of anxiety and doubt. I feel at home.
Another big issue that I attribute to my stress about life is constantly feeling behind in life. I surround myself with great friends that just happen to be a bit older than me so I constantly compare myself and where I am, to their lives and where they are. I feel behind because they’re father along in school, career opportunities and in their respective fields of study whilst I am still trying to get into my program. I guess you can say that I’m a bit impatient? A bit jealous of them? Yeah… I would agree with that. But I guess you just have to put it all in perspective. They too have people they are jealous of because those people are farther along then themselves. And that if I do my absolute best, in the end everything will work out somehow. I hope.
So if you’re like me, going through personal self doubt about anything really. Doesn’t have to be about school, maybe it’s about life in general for you. I’m telling you that it is completely normal to be uncertain and frustrated with being uncertain. We gotta try to stay positive, do our absolute best, and try not to worry too much because as the actor Ryan Gosling once said in National Lampoons: Van Wilder, “Try not to take life too seriously, you’ll never get out of it alive.” Stressing out about anything for long periods of time is not healthy. Trust me, I’ve done enough of that in the last 6 months (women and school mostly) than I hope to do in my life time. Take time to relax for about an hour or two, or three.. or four.. or five. We got this. The world is ours for the taking.