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Fear of what will happen next

Every time I write something I always have my screen split like I’m citing a piece of work for an upcoming essay or writing an article.

Then once I’ve written the piece, I enlarge the screen and read through it multiple times, and finally upload and send it in. I do this every time – throughout college, and now, at university. It’s become normal and easy for me to do; I can decide on topics to write about, write them, edit, and send.

Until the last few months, it’s been difficult to write something that I want to research and share. And I think it might be that I may fail.

Fail at all of the assignments. And that leads to not graduating, and that leads to finishing university and not knowing what’s next, the ordeal that is normal throughout everyday life.

But who doesn’t find the idea of not knowing what will happen next terrifying?

If you agree, then you’ve probably procrastinated on everything, like watching TV instead of doing an upcoming assignment, or even the housework. Maybe you repeatedly watch the same TV shows again and again because at least then you know what happens next. But then, because you’re in the know of how it’ll end, that makes it predictable and boring. But at least you have somewhere to escape because you know the ending of a fake world unlike the real one.

Then it’s time to turn off the show because it’s time to head back to reality, get those deadlines done and hang out that washing.

Reality is all so consuming with Covid, the ending of school or the beginning of something great, is overwhelming and scary.

But when you speak to someone about it, they say the stupid phrase ‘that’s life’ – acting as if they’ve never been scared of what will happen next for them. So you’ve gone from procrastinating to beginning your work, and now that escapism you once had has disappeared, you decide let’s have a cuppa and have a scroll through social media.

Social media – endless scrolling reading through posts of your ‘friends’ that you probably don’t speak to anymore, and they probably have their life sorted or faking it. That’s how I see it anyway. You go through the emotions, Insta-envy for a while, and then you see the engagement posts or the first-day-of my-job-posts, and now you’re annoyed. Feeling like you’re falling behind or something. But you need to realise that they probably didn’t plan most of that – and it was just hard work and a little bit of luck.

You’ve gone from being a child with no worries, learning irrelevant things like algebra in school, to reality hitting you.

And now you have to get that job and other adulting stuff you have to do, but you forget that none of it is in your control.

I don’t know what will happen next and that goes for everyone else in the world. But I’ve always known my every day – school, college, university, assignments, exams, studying, and work. Sometimes I’ll go out for food, or just a little trip to do an activity at some place. So we have to tweak the norm.

Friendships, relationships, careers, and other things will change completely at some point in your life. But for now just a little tweak here and there. This is just a small change in different areas of your life, one that will help you push aside the fear of not knowing what the next chapter of your life will be.

Now that I’m coming to the end of one chapter of my life, I start to notice more things about myself.

And yes, I’m terrified to find out what will be next after university, but I’m also excited. To achieve the things I want to do like wearing the hat and gown and throwing the hat in the air at my graduation and many other life goals.

That is when you start to realise that with just a little bit of tweaking to your life, you start to think about what could be next for you – like that job you’ve always wanted, that wedding you dreamed of with the perfect dress, and maybe those vacations you’ve been putting off.

And now I can focus on my first goal which is wearing that cap and gown at my graduation, as a little tweak here and there is better than being scared of what could happen next.


Published by meganrosemccluskey21

De Montfort University student studying Journalism and Film

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