Today, students cannot approach life with the same certainties as they could before the pandemic. Incoming freshmen are deprived of the typical college experience, and graduating seniors underwent a chaotic year filled with unanswered questions and missed opportunities.
Tori Branch, a graduating senior majoring in sport industry and minoring in African American studies, sees the uncertainty as an opportunity for inspiration. “It’s a good reminder to focus on the present moment,” she said. “Not getting so caught up in where you’re trying to be and missing out on where you are right now.”
“I’m focusing on my passions outside of material and career success,” Branch said. She highlighted some of her favorite music, including the song “Me” by OSHUN, which motivates listeners to step away from societal expectations and focus on self-love.
Branch looks forward to how this phase of questions will mold her future. She takes time to enjoy present moments without worrying about her next steps and encourages other students, especially incoming freshmen with high expectations, to do the same.
“It’s nice to have goals and an idea of where you want to be, but also understanding it’s okay if plans don’t work out.”
Branch also shares her advice with those struck by today’s uncertainty. A tarot card reader, she offers guidance for her clients who are experiencing a realm of questions in their own lives. “They’re sitting in situations where there is so much uncertainty,” she said. “So, a lot of my readings have been focused on this idea of empowering yourself.”
She offers uplifting words not only to students, but to anyone experiencing hardship or missed opportunities. By focusing on the present and its positive moments, people can become more in tune with themselves and the future.
“Things not going exactly how you thought they would just means maybe something wasn’t meant for you,” said Branch.