What if I get a 60 in this course? What if I don't get into the major I want? What if I don’t end up getting into professional school because I’m not good enough?

These are questions that I used to keep at the back of my mind. These are questions that fuel my fear for the unknown. These are questions that make my heart sink and my stomach turn.

Over time I've realized that it's natural to deal with uncertainty and have my plans change. I’ve come to realize that having this bleak outlook for the future is an incredibly harmful and irrational way of thinking. You don’t know what the future holds, so automatically assuming the worst perpetuates a negative outlook on life, consumes you with insecurity and closes you off to new opportunities.

While you may not be able to expect the best because you feel that you’ll be constantly let down, you can focus on finding meaningful life experiences such as volunteering, trying a new extracurricular or trying a case competition — any of which will prepare you for the real world. 

I’ve felt incredibly lost this year after realizing just how difficult my program is. What’s difficult for me is the fact that now I’ll have to prepare for different possibilities that I didn’t know I would have to face. But the thing is, life isn’t this direct path that you can plan. There are unexpected hurdles along the way. What’s important is your ability to adapt and adjust to the hurdles that life throws at you. You can consider the worst, or instead of becoming overwhelmed by your potential crisis, you can consider ways to adapt to your situation and assure yourself that you can handle it.

As uneasy as this makes me, the truth is, there are no guarantees in life. All you can do is move forward, work hard, learn from your mistakes and have this motivation to do better and be better. You can plan all you want, but at the end of the day, you have to accept that sometimes things don’t work out in your favour.

Am I still terrified? Absolutely. But I have confidence that university will make me a stronger, smarter and better person that will allow me to make meaningful change in the world someday. So maybe I don’t have my life figured out at this moment, but I know that my resilience that will enable me to persevere and adapt to life’s challenges.


Vivian Cheng is a third year medical sciences student and Culture Editor for Volume 111. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her curating another playlist or thinking about puppies. You can contact her at

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