You’d think that after nearly four years of college, I'd consider myself knowledgeable on how to be a student, at the very least. Just like me, you’d be wrong. As I approach the end of my term as an editor at The Cavalier Daily after three consecutive terms and especially the end of my college career, I’ve realized that I haven’t figured out as much as I thought I would. On the contrary, I’m left with more questions than ever before. Even though I've arrived so far and done so much more than I could have ever imagined, I cannot come to convince myself that I know how to do tasks. And maybe that’s okay.
Like most overachieving University students, I’ve done a lot here. We all know the phrase — work hard, play hard. It seems like every single person I meet here is extraordinary. Which would make sense when it feels like the University is constantly flaunting its extraordinary rankings on Instagram dappled with the occasional Lawn dog post perhaps in an attempt to look humble. The point is, it feels like nearly all my peers have been successful in growing, enhancing their skills and making a positive impact. I constantly look up to my friends and classmates.
What I cannot get over, though, is how some people perceive me this way too. As a fourth year now, I find other people asking me how to do things. How to get into the McIntire School of Commerce. How to be successful. How to find a job. How to be a writer or editor. But the words just won’t come out. Every time someone asks me for advice I want to run away and hide. Despite the compliments people give, I can’t bring myself to believe that I’m actually doing things right.
Although I always joke about my infinite wisdom and talents that come with being on the older side of the current student population, I personally find that I have quite little knowledge. I’m constantly doubting, questioning and worrying. I constantly ask myself one big question — am I even doing anything right?
Despite my long list of silly little extracurriculars, silly little classes, activities like The Cavalier Daily, working at McIntire Student Services and being part of the Promotions class, I confess that I frankly don’t have much faith in my actual skills.
No, I don't know how to write an article. I don’t know what business majors actually go into and I don’t think I could correctly explain what a bank does. Sorry, I can’t help you write that memo and yes, you’d think that I would know since I’m a newspaper editor. The concept of consulting as a profession is beyond me. I’m not sure if I even boil pasta right and I’m afraid that one day someone will find a flaw in my apple pie recipe.
I’m afraid I'm genuinely doing everything wrong all at once, all the time. The worst part is that I’m getting away with it
As I near my impending graduation date, I fear what's to come — actual adulthood. God help me. I’ve been asking myself how I could ever hope to manage my feelings of insecurity and insufficiency if I ever hope to make it out of graduation alive.
Can I recognize my past accomplishments and admit to myself that just maybe, I’m doing things right? Can I admit that I’m an adult? I’ve turned over these questions, over and over, in my head like a load of laundry that never seems to dry.
Honestly, I've never found a straight answer. It’s possible I never will. I think I’ll be a 22 year-old teenager forever. And for now, I think I can live with that. Maybe I'll gain confidence in doing grown-up tasks like cooking meals and doing left-hand turns on a yield traffic light. Maybe I won't — that’s alright. I suppose that for some things, we’ll never feel like we’ve grown up and figured it out. It’s alright to feel like I’m doing life wrong sometimes, as long as I’m open to learning from my mistakes and trying my best.
It’s okay to feel like we’re all doing everything wrong, everywhere, all at once, all the time. I suppose no one everyone figures anything out, we might just pretend we do. We’ve just got to give it our best effort. While I feel like I may not know much, I do know for sure that I’ll turn out okay.
Cecy Juárez is a Life Editor for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at email@example.com.