UCF Forum: You May Think You Know Where Life is Headed—Just be Ready to Adjust
By Katherine Torres
UCF Forum columnist
No matter how much you plan your life out, things are not always going to go as you planned. You may think you know what you want to do in your life, but dreams and passions change and it is important to know that is okay.
At the beginning of my senior year at the University of Central Florida, I was meeting with my advisor one last time to make sure I was still on track to graduate with my Bachelor of Science in health services administration. I had my life completely planned out and I knew the exact path I wanted to take—I had the same dream and plan ever since I was in middle school,
Earlier, at the end of my sophomore year, I landed two jobs at the campus Recreation and Wellness Center and I loved everything I did. I became extremely involved and realized I had a new passion—a passion for campus recreation, specifically adaptive recreation. It wasn’t until I was a semester away from graduating that I started to question and reconsider my dream of working in the healthcare industry.
So here I was, a semester away from graduating, questioning if I was making the right choice by going into healthcare or if I should try to pursue my new passion of working in campus recreation.
The anxiety and the panic I faced was unbearable. I have had the same goal and dream ever since I was young. How dare I change my plans just as my life was about to truly begin! I decided I was going to just finish my degree and see where life took me.
A few months before graduating, I landed my first full-time job at a home-care agency. I was excited to have a full-time job by the time I graduated and didn’t have to stress about searching for a job after graduation. The job started off great, but as a few months went by, I realized it wasn’t what I expected it to be. I started to become unhappy and the stress was causing my health to decline.
I quickly realized this was not the right path for me and I needed to take an alternative path in my career choice. This made me nervous and scared because I didn’t know where I was going to end up and I was afraid of facing more regret in life.
However, that was not the case.
A position opened up back at the Recreation and Wellness Center and I was able to return and work as a full-time staff member. I was back in an environment where I was comfortable and happy—and I have been happy ever since!
The biggest lesson I learned in all of this was that no matter how much you plan, your life may take a different route. Unfortunately, sometimes it can take people many years before they realize it is OK to redirect themselves and they are stuck in a position unhappy for a long time.
I often hear students telling me what their dreams are and where they want to end up in life, but they are always scared that things are not going to go the way they plan it.
I was in their same shoes, but I pushed aside my fears and I took that risk. I always tell them to just take that risk and see where the opportunities take them, and if they are not happy, then they need to make a change.
No matter how well you are at planning things, you will always be faced with obstacles and challenges that will alter your path—and that is OK. As long as you are following the path toward your happiness, everything else will fall into place.
Katherine Torres is the facilities scheduler at the University of Central Florida’s Recreation and Wellness Center. She can be reached at Katherine.Torres@ucf.edu.