Embracing the certainty of uncertainty

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity proved everything is relative; there are no absolutes.

As a communications major, I probably shouldn’t geek out about a physicist’s findings, but this theory is one principle that I’ve found to go beyond a simple study of motion.

When I came to college, I had my whole life planned.

My classes were mapped out semester-by-semester so I could complete a double major and minor in three and a half years. I knew which courses I would take (too boring), which clubs I would join (too many) and which internships I would acquire (too impractical). After graduation, I would get a job in St. Louis and move back to my family and my roots. Eventually, I would get married, and my kids would go to my alma maters.

In other words, I would live the life I always wanted.

I was certain these plans were absolute, but these plans lasted for a total of one semester.

Then, college happened. Life happened. Rejection happened.

And opportunity appeared.

My classes introduced me to new career possibilities. My clubs connected me with people of other majors and interests. And my internship rejections opened the doors for different options.

That journey I had planned, that path of motion as Einstein would say, was nowhere near absolute.

As I struggled to cling to that path for two years, it became more and more evident that it was all relative to the things that came my way and my reaction to obstacles and achievements.

While I sat through classes I didn’t enjoy and joined clubs that only supported my expected career, I limited myself. I missed out on opportunities to make new friends, explore new possibilities and discover new interests.

Since dropping one of my majors to a minor, taking internships I never would have expected and joining clubs that have little relevance to an advertising career, I’ve taken that straight path and added twists and turns, hills and valleys, breaks and bridges.

Now, I’m sitting here as a junior with 120 credits and only four classes left to take, scrambling to find an excuse to stay a full four years. My career aspirations range from working in an ad agency to joining the Peace Corps, getting a job in student affairs to becoming a high school teacher.

I register for classes next week, and I have no idea what I want to take. I don’t know when I will graduate or what I will do after college ends. Basically, I’ve reached a typical college student crisis.

Few of us know where we will be five years from now or even what we want to be doing. What I’ve learned is this is OK, and we shouldn’t limit ourselves.

So take on that executive position. Go to that volleyball game. Say “yes” to that internship.
As we do these things, we encounter new people, we expand our skills, and we make the most of our opportunities. Through these experiences, we build a solid foundation for whatever path we pursue.

I may not know where I’ll be in a couple years, but that’s alright. I’ve come to accept it, and I am confident in the groundwork I’ve built for achieving whatever goals I have.

It’s impossible to be absolute about the future.

The only thing we can truly be certain of is there will always be uncertainty. So embrace it, roll with it, and enjoy the ride.

More from Opinion

Elections call for student voice

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” The candlelight vigil Monday night invited the media to cover the multitudes of Bradley students who were taking a … read more

Athletic Dept. should prioritize

With a winless volleyball team, a soccer team that has not performed to fan expectations and budget cuts to the Athletic Department that resulted in the loss of the men’s tennis program, the last few months have been hard on … read more

Let’s talk about feelings

A dictionary definition of “emotion” describes the word as “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with others.” So in other words, it’s normal for us as humans to experience a wide range of … read more

Homecoming: Define your own Brave life

Applying to a university is tedious work. From start to finish, the college application to-do list has often made a mockery of the high school senior’s limited free time. But following those tedious applications comes the actual hard part: the … read more

What makes music good?

What makes music good? Why do people like the music they like? Why do I like the music I like? These questions are constantly buzzing in my head, and after years of thinking about it, I still can’t say that … read more