Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Combating fears of the future

Katie Kather

The summer is wrapping up as I write this, and I have mixed feelings.

First of all, I don’t like change. I’ve just spent three months getting into a new routine, and I haven’t even perfected it yet!I’ve had a good summer; I learned a lot working for AustinTalks and interning at WBEZ.

But I have to admit–I’m terrified.

Not only will I be starting a new routine, I’ll be taking classes with professors I haven’t had yet and working on my thesis. So much unknown.

I’m also terrified about finding a job–let’s be honest. I’ve gained so much experience in my time at Columbia. Sometimes I think about where I was last summer. I would have never thought in less than a year I would be doing my dream internship and reporting on the West Side of Chicago.

But the future is still scary and the competition is fierce.

And I don’t know how to make myself feel better besides jumping in and doing my best. It sounds so trite, but it’s worked for me in the past.

Another helpful thing I have found calms the fear of the unknown is looking at evidence. I’ve learned this by having several therapist friends, including my sister.

Here’s how it works (it’s actually really simple): instead of feeding your fear the moment you recognize it, start listing out all the evidence against it.

– So –

Last semester of grad school: I’ve had new professors in the past and it didn’t kill me. I finished last semester with straight A’s (I’m counting that A- Nancy Day!) I haven’t done a thesis for grad school yet, but look at all the people who have successfully completed one in this program. Surely, I am just as capable.

Future career: I had a great internship this summer. Sure, getting a job is different, but you have to focus on the positive and put it on your evidence list! I have learned a ton and gained a tremendous amount of experience and will have an MA in journalism in a few short months.

One last thing: don’t compare yourself to others. It makes everything worse–trust me.

What are your fears? What kind of evidence can you list to fight them off? And what else do you do when facing something new and scary? I have also found comfort in simple pleasures, like the fact I can get a churro whenever I want from the Churro Factory downstairs. Maybe I’ll go do that now…

Combating fears of the future

The summer is wrapping up as I write this, and I have mixed feelings. First of all, I don’t like change. I’ve just spent three months getting into a new …

Journalism MA Katie Kather, kathryn.kather@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience