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Stratton Smith

The Fear of the Unknown

by Stratton Smith | Mar 02, 2017

As I’m approaching my final months at Manchester, I am overwhelmed by the fear of the unknown; the future is blurry to me. I’m not scared that I won’t be able to find a job and I’ll look like a failure to those around me (yeah, that was last month), but I’m afraid I’m going to make the wrong “first choice.” One thing I’ve learned about this little thing we call “life” is that one decision can take away other future decisions. To relate, for example, you’ll date someone from a certain friend group and then they will perhaps have friends that you feel closer connected to or could perhaps see yourself with more than the current person you’re dating... but you can’t have them because of your initial decision to date their friend. I’ve seen this situation play out before and it can get really ugly – that’s just one example.

So after graduation I can go several routes and I don’t know which route will make me happiest in the long run. I could care less about the career that makes me the richest, most powerful, coolest, etc.; all I care about is what makes ME as an INDIVIDUAL the happiest. Unfortunately, we never know... but we can guess. Buuuut that doesn’t help my fear. I’m terrified undoubtedly on the unknown. I crave to have control of my life and mind, but I can’t control the future.

If there is one thing that I do know it’s that everything will be okay. No matter what happens after graduation, I truly believe I’ll be okay no matter what, and I have Manchester to thank for that. Manchester was the best fit for ME. I wanted to write that Manchester taught me how to think intellectually and critically, but that’s also not true, because then everyone would have my mind and I’m thankful they don’t. I was given the right people for me, and it’s hard to imagine that I would have found that anywhere else. Manchester DID give me the resources and surrounded me with amazing individuals in order to help me find my intellect and develop myself into a person I’ve come to fall in love with.

Do I go to graduate school (‘The road less travelled’ as I’ve come to call it) to follow a passion in screenwriting that I’m eager to explore? Do I go into the Sales/Marketing work force to start a life for myself in the real world? Do I put on pants today? These are all questions that I find are constantly consuming my mind, but when the time comes I know I have to make my move. No matter what decision I make or what opportunities will present themselves, I know I’m prepared. Maybe I’m not prepared financially, perhaps physically, or emotionally, but my mind is ready. I’m ready to take on any challenge in a professional environment because I know that everything will be okay; I have Manchester to thank for that.

Stratton Smith ’17 is an English major, hailing from a small town just east of Indianapolis. Stratton is the captain of the tennis team, co-founder of Academic Probation, Manchester's improv troupe, and Vice President of the Theatre & Society club.

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