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The beauty of embracing life’s uncertainties

| Friday, May 19, 2017

Most of my life gets planned out on yellow legal pads. I find comfort in plans, to-do lists and spreadsheets, and have been known to get physically uncomfortable when I don’t know what’s coming.

So, no; I was not expecting this week to go very well for me

I feel as though I’m in limbo — done with school, but with no idea what comes next, and only days before “next” comes knocking.

So, I’m trying to embrace the uncertainty of life after my plans run out.

On the one hand, it’s very freeing. I get to go do what I want, where I want, when I want. But operating sans plan is a radical departure from my normal way of life, so I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy.

To avoid the crushing anxiety of facing the unknown, however, I’ve instead tried to focus on the things I have to be grateful for over the last four years. In hindsight, I’m realizing just how many of them occurred by happy accident.

By serendipity, I was placed in Pangborn Hall as a freshman. I’m not proud of this, but I’ll admit that I was not entirely thrilled at living in the most functional and safe dorm on campus. But, living in Pang, I met some of the most wonderful people I know, who will be my friends for the rest of my life.

I joined The Observer in my second week of school — and nearly quit more than once — because I wanted to meet people and they had candy at Activities Night, but never thought I would stick around longer than a year. I had no way of knowing four years ago that it would come to define my college experience.

Perhaps most importantly, Notre Dame was never a part of my plan. I didn’t have a Notre Dame onesie as a baby, I didn’t grow up singing the fight song, I applied because other people thought I should. I distinctly remember asking my dad the summer before my senior year of high school if Notre Dame was Catholic, the irony of which I appreciated as I stayed up late finishing my final assignment as an undergrad — a 12-page theology paper. Notre Dame has given me the opportunity to succeed, to fail, to love others and to be loved in return, and I never saw it coming.

I’m going to walk across a stage on Sunday. I’m going to go back to my apartment and pack up my things, and then on Monday, I’m driving home. The plan ends there, and I’m going to be okay.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Margaret Hynds

Margaret is a senior Political Science major and the former Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. She hails from Washington, D.C., and is a former Phox of Pangborn Hall. Follow Margaret on Twitter @MargaretHynds

Contact Margaret