As I enter into my fall semester of the TRF grad program at Newhouse, I am overwhelmed with an array of emotions. I have found myself wondering how I got on this campus and back into classrooms after I vowed that I was done with syllabi and textbooks. I have found myself thinking about the security of the salaried job and steady paycheck I gave up to go back to being a broke college kid. I have found myself worrying about what it’s going to be like being a student again after taking a year and a half off. I have found myself reflecting on that decision I made to drop everything that was normal and safe to follow a dream.
A leap of Faith
Taking a leap of faith as they call it, is the phenomenon of doing something where the outcome is unknown. It’s taking a step out of your comfort zone and trying something different. So many people consider taking a leap of faith to be something we do only when we are about to encounter something big and “life changing” and as a result, so many people are afraid to do it. However, we take leaps of faith every day. Everything after the present is unknown. We don’t know whats going to happen from one minute to the next, but we still choose to walk into the unknown of each new minute of the day without taking a second thought. So, why is it so hard to do on a conscious level?
1.The Fear of stepping out of our comfort zones
Stepping outside of life as we know it now and entering into something totally unknown is unpredictable, scary, and so many people fear it more than anything. We feel discomfort, fear, and anxiety when trying something new, and would rather cling to the safety of our comfortable and predictable lives.
2. Sacrifices and Change
Taking a leap of faith almost always comes with many sacrifices and lots of change. Saying goodbye to certain ways of life that we don’t necessarily want to let go of, but have to let go of is one of the worse feelings ever. From moving away from family, to not being able to go to the movies every week, to what have you, it is so hard to focus on the big picture and the future when it means sacrifice, change, and discomfort in the present.
How to Cope
I know that deciding to go back to school provoked all of the aforementioned feelings in me. However, a few key people and mindsets help me cope with this transition:
I have a serious relationship with God and trust that he will take care of me. Knowing this keeps me from worrying and stressing out about things such as finances, post grad life, and all the things that are somewhat up in the air for me at times. It also helps me to remember that I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing even though it’s scary.
2. Support System
My parents, friends, and boyfriend are a big support to me. When I’m feeling down or unsure of my decision to pursue this degree, they remind me of why I’m here, encourage me to keep going , and put things back into perspective for me. I also have my peers here at Newhouse. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has moments of fear, worry, stress or what have you. Having my peers is a nice reminder that I am not alone and that others understand the exact feelings I’m having.
3. Focusing on the Big Picture
It’s so easy to put all of my focus on the present simply because that’s where I am. When things get stressful or hard in the present, thinking about the bigger picture and reason why you’re feeling that way now is the last think I want to think about. Focusing on the big picture helps me to remember that everything I’m doing is for a greater purpose and a greater life for me, and by remembering that, I am motivated to keep moving.
Taking a leap of faith is very scary and uncomfortable. However, don’t let discomfort and fear of the unknown stop you-be brave! Find a good set of coping mechanisms, utilize them to the fullest, and jump at your destiny. Sure, it will always be safer to stick to what you know and are comfortable with, but by doing that, you may never know your true potential and you may never know your true purpose. Take a chance on yourself and follow your dreams- if not you’ll regret it forever.
Remember you don’t have to be average you can be extraordinary. You don’t have to be a rock, you can be a diamond!