When I say “it’s that time of year again,” I’m actually not talking about everyone getting engaged or married or graduating. For me, there is always a moment in my year where I jolt awake from my zombie-daze of productivity (oxymoron?) to remember where I was the same time the year before. For me, it’s in April. I’m not sure why- maybe because everything is somehow always scheduled for this month or there are always many changes in March. Either way, it’s April, and this moment was cRaZy because I didn’t think my life had changed so much.
Let’s journey back to April 2014. It was a the end of my junior year, and all of my friends were graduating. I was making the most of it and only crying in my shower ever other day. I was a part of three PR campaigns, and I had no idea what I was doing. The year before I had gone to my first PRSSA conference and asked Jackson Spalding what they did- rookie mistake. I was going to apply for co-director of our on-campus PR firm, but who knew where that was going to take me. I probably wasn’t going to get the position, and then end up being bored and angry at myself for not graduating early when I could have. I was going to be moving in with a random roommate for my last year. I was going to be working back at an internship where I sometimes felt like I was way over my head.
The overarching theme here was: I was lost and confused and had no idea what was going to happen in the next year, and that was written all over my face, every second of every day.
Hopping back in the time machine, I was standing at the finish line of the 5K walk our on-campus PR firm put on this last Saturday and just smiled to myself. That was the last thing I was going to be in charge of as co-director. Yeah, I got co-director. Yeah, I became best friends with my other co-director. I then thought about how everything I was so worried about a year ago all turned out fine. No, not fine. They turned out pretty great.
I ended up going back to that conference and having a lengthy conversation with Jackson Spalding because I knew who they were. I lived with one girl first semester who has become a great friend, and the one I live with now has become my sister. I ended up writing half of my internship’s magazine last summer which made me realize even if I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing- other people have faith that I will.
With about 25 days before I graduate, I have been harping on the things I haven’t accomplished. I haven’t gotten the perfect internship. I haven’t found the perfect apartment. Actually- I haven’t even saved up enough money to move into said perfect apartment. I haven’t realized my direct path to where I am supposed to be in life. I haven’t gotten a cat or Corgi (!!!!!).
But I’ve gotten over my anxiety about doing everything perfectly. I’ve talked to people I never thought I would have the confidence to before. I have found people I value and adore. I decided to stop caring about what others think of me but pay attention to how they treat me. I treat others as lovingly as possible.
When this time of year comes around for you, I hope you compare yourself to who you used to be a year ago instead of who you are hoping to become. Give yourself some credit for growing and recognize you have a lot more of that ahead of you.
This time next year I am hoping for a job, apartment, money saved, and a cat or Corgi. Maybe I will only get a few of those, but, either way, I will be content. (Cross your fingers that they will be the cat and/or Corgi though!)