Opinion: Embracing uncertainty as a senior


I was approached last week by an editor who asked me to write an opinion piece about my time here beneath the whispering maples. I would say that I have had a phenomenal college experience and should have been able to come up with something, but at 12 a.m., I sat at my keyboard uncertain what to write about.

Then it came to me. Write about something all college students experience: uncertainty. It’s a feeling that scares many, but in my time here at Simpson College, I have learned it’s something that, as a college student, you must endure.

Uncertainty is around every corner of this campus. A student may be uncertain about applying for a prestigious internship, uncertain about taking a class outside of their area of study or an extremely rigorous 300 level course. Students even experience uncertainty when it comes to whether or not they should go out this weekend.

As a senior, my best advice when one is faced with uncertainty is to forge ahead and attempt what one is uncertain about. We are here on this campus to learn, and facing uncertainty is one of the best ways to do so.  

By applying for that coveted internship one was unsure about, new doors can be opened to ideas that might not be offered in the classroom; taking that course you’re unsure about may lead to declaring a new major or minor. The decision to go out this weekend may just land you with some new friends you may not have met had you not. It’s easy to miss out on amazing opportunities if we do not jump at the idea of uncertainty.

Not taking chances with things we are uncertain about can also lead us down a road of complacency.  We simply find ourselves in a rut that we think is good enough and do nothing to rise above to our full potential.

I feel the thing that scares people most about the idea of uncertainty is failure. While no one wants to fail, it is one of the greatest ways to learn and move forward in life in a positive manner.

Here in a few short weeks, I will be walking across the stage to receive my diploma and I will be uncertain of many things; where I will be working, where I will be living and even questioning if I’m ready for the real world. While this could cause paralyzing fear for some, I am excited. Taking chances with things I was uncertain about at Simpson has prepared me to jump into the next point of my life.

It’s easy to be scared by those things we are unsure or uncertain of, but embracing them, whether you succeed or fail, is the greatest way to learn.