There’s a science fiction movie called Mr. Nobody, and it’s one of my favorites. Essentially, it’s about the butterfly effect: the idea that every small decision that you make ultimately has the power to change the course of your remaining life. The movie is about a boy who is faced with an impossible choice—when his parents separate, will he stay with his mother or his father?—and the consequences of either decision. This influences where he lives, who he falls in love with, how happy he is, and ultimately, whether he lives or dies. It’s really a pretty fantastic movie, albeit confusing as hell. I highly recommend it—especially to anyone who wants to feel both scared and relieved about the future.
As a graduating senior, it often feels like every decision I make from here on out really does fundamentally shift the entirety of my future. Maybe it won’t be life or death, but still. Where to go to graduate school? Which loans to I take out to pay for it? Where should I live? Who should I live with? Who will my new friends be? How will I keep in contact with my current friends? Will I be happy? Stressed? Broke? Regretful? What the hell is happening and how did I become an adult so quickly? In case you haven’t noticed, I am a professional at overthinking things and it should really be the first thing on the top of my resume.
Having an endless amount of options and knowing that you could literally do anything can be exhilarating and exciting, but also terrifying. Technically my path is pretty straightforward because I will still be in school, but it’s a whole different kind of school than anything I have experienced before. These feelings are so much different than the ones that I had when graduating high school. Back then, even though I didn’t know what my major would be or what my roommate would be like, everything felt so much more structured and certain, almost like an extension of high school but in a brand new place with brand new people. Going to college was the expectation. Now it feels like a whole different ball game.
“We cannot go back. That’s why it’s hard to choose. You have to make the right choice. As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible.” Mr. Nobody is about how choices, both big and small ones, and whether or not we end up choosing the life that is right for us. We can imagine and plan for our lives all we want, but the fact of the matter is that things almost never work out exactly the way that we hoped, or the way that we thought that they were supposed to, but that doesn’t mean that it is wrong. “Each of these lives is the right one. Every path is the right path. Everything could have been anything else and it would have just as much meaning.” (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself).