The Future Is Uncertain… But That’s Okay!



Do you have it “figured out”? Do you know what you want to do with the rest of your life, what career you want to have in the future? If you answer yes, you’re
doing something right! For the vast majority of students who say no, don’t fret.
Unless you’re in fourth year—then perhaps “fretting” isn’t such a bad course of
action. It’s normal not to know where you want to go and what you want to do with
your life; choosing to go to UTM was hard enough. Mapping out the rest of our
lives… How the heck are we expected to do that when we can’t even decide on the
foods we want to eat and how we want to pass the time today? In my opinion, not
knowing what you want to do with your life at this very moment is okay; provided
are some examples and statistics that are aimed to ease some of your fears for
the foreseeable future. Of course, if you do currently have clear career goals,
please read on with those in mind; perhaps you’ll learn something that you hadn’t
considered before.

majority of jobs that current grade school students will have in the future haven’t
even been created yet. Please do some research online; you will find various
statistics to support this claim in some fashion. The dynamics of economies are
changing in light of technological advances, whether we want them to or not.
That means that you will likely be employed in a job later in your career that
doesn’t even exist yet. How do you even attempt to plan for 10 or 20 years in
the future when we don’t know what the job market will look like at that point
in time? As a UTM student, you have a wide variety of opportunities and events
to network with professionals and learn about the world at large. If you choose
to take advantage of as many of those experiences as you can, you will learn
new skills and advice that will benefit you later in life. Every experience,
good or bad, is a learning
experience; be open to these opportunities and your life may head in an
exciting and unexpected direction. If you have an interest in something, follow
up on it while you still have the time—you never know where it’ll take you.

lives, and indeed the world, will change in ways that we can’t even begin to
understand now. It goes without saying that your career plans will change too.
Very often, reality has a way of hitting us when we least expect it; our lives,
for better or worse, must adapt to those changes. It would be great for life to
play out exactly as we’d like it to, but that’s just not how it goes. How do
you make solid plans for the future when it can all shift so rapidly? That’s
why not knowing your career goals right now is okay; your
life may take an unexpected turn in the road, and your past goals may get replaced
by new ones that are more realistic to your situation. Work hard, confide in
others, believe in yourself, and refuse to give up. You’ll find your way, even though
it might take longer than you’d anticipated.

We will all find our path eventually… Some have
discovered it sooner than others, and that’s okay. The future is uncertain, and
that may seem quite scary to you. You’re not alone; there are probably hundreds
of students at UTM currently that don’t yet know where they want to end up in
the coming years. Don’t be afraid to try new things, to meet people, and to go
in unforeseen directions—easier said than done, but doable nonetheless. You might
just end up where you were meant to be—somewhere new, unexpected, and equally

Tackling the Abyss – Life After University

“So, What’re Your Plans After University?”


Should I be a scientist?

Should I be a teacher?

Should I be a building???

Should I be a cat?????

Ah, the great existential question. Perhaps the most important of our young adult lives—and certainly one on all our minds as we near the end of our undergraduate careers and prepare to be launched into the bloodbath that is the job market.

The truth is, the possibilities are endless. All we really have to do is weigh our preferences with our talents and skills, and match those up with real world opportunities.

So then, what is it about this question that makes it seem so absolutely terrifying?

Personally, I think it’s fear.

The fear of incompetence. The fear that what we are setting out to do is beyond our measure of talent and ability.

We fear that a few years from now, we’ll be struggling while our friends and classmates are thriving—that we’ll have to return to the herd hanging our heads in defeat because we failed. I mean, we’re terrified that we’ll be knocking back a few with all our accountant and lawyer friends who knew exactly what they were going to do and who they were going to be right from freshman year, and who now earn six-figure salaries. (Guess who’s picking up the tab tonight…)

And this fear can be all-consuming—if we let it.

As a third-year student myself, I feel like I’m standing right at the edge of the cliff, preparing to take the plunge. And the closer I get to the summer of 2016, the more time I spend trying to tackle the uncertainty of life after university. I find these thoughts and fears flying through my mind on almost a daily basis. Scratch that—definitely on a daily basis. Multiple times a day, really.

What is it that I really want to do in the world? Where can my degree take me? Will I be earning enough money to lead a comfortable and happy lifestyle? Is this field something I can see myself in for the next 40 years or so? Will I be good at it?

And believe me, there are times when I get so confused and frustrated in trying to figure out my life that I just want to curl into a fetal position and let the emotional roller coaster take me where it may. (If you ever find me in this position—you now know why. Do not be alarmed.)

With that said, there are a couple of things I think is important to keep in mind.

Número uno: It’s not about the money.

Okay, kind of. Money is important, because we need it to survive and exist in today’s consumer-driven culture. But really, money is not everything.

I once read a Buzzfeed article and something from it stayed with me. It was about a nurse who documented the things the elderly would say on their deathbeds, and specifically what their biggest regrets were—the most common of them being that they had spent too much time trying to earn more and more money, and not enough time with their loved ones.

Am I alone in saying this gives me chills?

Lesson? Do not waste your youth trying to obtain wealth—the best kind of wealth is in the form of experiences and loved ones. I mean, no one on their deathbed is gonna talk about how happy they are that they still have a million dollars in the bank.

Número dos: You answer to you.

And no one else. The only standards you have to live up to are your own.

You decide your life. You decide what it is you’re going to do and how you’re going to spend your time. If you truly believe that the only way you’re going to be happy in the world is to obtain mass amounts of material wealth—hey man, by all means, go for it. You’re the only one who has to live with your decisions at the end of the day.

I realize this blog post was a bit of a whirlwind experience, but if there’s anything you take away from it, I hope it’s this:

  • You can do whatever it is you want in the world—you just have to know what that is.
  • Establish your priorities, and keep in mind the grand scheme of life.