I don’t know about the rest of you, but my school had a required class for all new students. A “welcome to college” adjustment period, if you will. My section, led by an easy-going grad student, quickly became more of a social hour than anything. Sure, we held the occasional Q&A. But as long as we completed the assignments, we were free to use the time as little more than a study hall.
Giving It Some Thought
One assignment, however, asked us to write a descriptive essay on where we envisioned ourselves in X-years. You know the type. Very reminiscent of the college application process.
Letting myself give it some genuine thought, I realized I actually had few specifics for myself. The vague ideas considered over the years suddenly gathered dust in my mind. Nothing really stood out beyond using college as my one-way ticket to the world.
Yet I had to write something, so of course, I made it up. Something about owning a bookshop, where I planned to spend my days. Lots of downtime for writing. And it definitely involved living close to the ocean. I remember that distinctly because the one thing I can’t see myself ever giving up is living relatively close to the ocean.
If I was handed that assignment today, I guarantee it would have a more definitive direction. See, here in my last semester I’m finally starting to realize where I want to be in X-years.
I ask you guys: where was this inspirational moment back when it actually mattered? My freshman self needed this level head. I certainly had the zeal. With the ability to target my class selection toward a more specialized career goal, my entire college experience would’ve played out much differently.
Now maybe you’ll remind me that it’s been four years. I get it. I’ve changed in that time, enough to know I didn’t know anything back then. If I did, I likely would’ve had the gumption to stick with community college while I ironed out a few things. Or even held off on college for a year or two. However misguided they were, I had my reasons.
“If Only” Regrets
In spite of it all, I’m proud to take at least one certainty with me when I graduate next month. I may not know exactly where I’ll be in a couple of weeks, let alone years. But I’m open to whatever opportunities come along to bring me closer to my goals.
Take The Pledge
To you, my fellow graduates, I offer one last homework assignment: watch Disney’s The Kid. Watch it, and pay special attention to the turning point scene with Bruce Willis and Jean Smart.
Now let’s make a pledge. Let’s not become the people they discuss, the ones who grow up and sit by while their dreams simmer away. Let’s remain the Astronauts and the Prima Ballerinas.