Sunday, February 16, 2014

The BIG Decision

Right now, I am on the cusp of life... quite literally the cusp... I am at the beginning of the point in my life where I begin my future... or at least at the point where I am able to set my future plans in motion... is that too deep to handle?
Well, what I mean to say is that I'm a second semester junior at university and I have the power (and responsibility) to choose what I become after graduate. It is nerve wracking and exciting all at the same time. There are so many options for me after I graduate, but how do I know what to choose? How do I know what is best for me? Will I choose correctly? What if I hate the real world? What if the real world does not want me?
Déjà vu. I feel like I have been here before, and that is because I basically have. Exactly four years ago, I was in this very same position... I was a junior (in high school) choosing what my next step in life would be. I chose to go to university, and I chose the university that I am attending right now. I know that it was the right choice by far, but sometimes I wonder just how different my life would be if I had decided to major in something different or attended a different school, perhaps one not so far away from home. This definitely would have impacted my life as well as the person who I have become.
I know that my next decision is rather important... and I know that the choice is mine. I also have just begun to realize that in a year, I will probably have made my mind up and maybe I will even know what my future plans are...
SO, I've imagined up three plausible paths that I will choose from after I step off the stage on graduation day: 
  1. Grad school
  2. Find a killer job
  3. Get a grant/scholarship to travel and write and learn 
 The most incredible part of this whole thing is that each of these three little paths have a ton of mini-paths branching off of them... where will I go to grad school? What would I get a degree in? Where will I work? Will anyone want to hire me? What if I do not get the scholarship I want? What if I end up living a nomadic life forever?
I know that I still have time to work through and decide these kinds of things... but I just want to know. I want to know exactly where I will be in five years and if I will be successful and happy; but alas, reassurance from a future self is rarely to be expected as time travel has not become feasible yet.
Also, before I make plans for after graduation, I have to graduate... I am not worried about my grades, but I just have to keep reminding myself of all the work I have to do to get to the point where I cross the stage at graduation. It is a bit overwhelming, but I have got my eyes on the prize... whatever it may be. 
 If you can relate to this post on the uncertainty of your future, here are just a few quotes from incredible people that may set your mind at ease:
  • “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Eleanor Roosevelt 
  • “The best way to predict your future is to create it." - Abraham Lincoln 
  •  “Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.”- Henry David Thoreau
  • “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” - William Shakespeare 
  • "There is nothing like a dream to create the future." - Victor Hugo 
    WE are in charge of our futures. Just let that sink in.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The female college student's bucket list:

This photo may not go with the title of this post and that is quite simply because it is random.
Time has flown by and I am now in my third year of college... actually, third and a half year of college! The other day, I was sitting at a round table in the dining hall with some friends, mentally preparing myself to make the long, cold walk back to my dorm when I suddenly I blurted out:
"We're almost done with undergrad."
Some friends glared, but then moments later I heard a "thank God" in there.
I can hardly believe that I will be graduating in a little over a year and I'm not so sure that I am ready to leave the college lifestyle behind just yet. Sometimes, I hate it, but other times, I feel like there is no other place I would rather be than at school learning, living with friends, and having a good deal of both freedom and responsibility. 
A year and a half left of undergrad... 
Well, here is a list of some "bucket-listy" things that I have experienced/ have yet to experience that I believe, really compliment the college lifestyle:
  1. Work hard and try to be the best student you can possibly be- You may not have decided to go to college for the diploma, but your parents think you the end of the day (week, semester, year, college career) you want to be able to say that you tried your best.
  2. Grow your hair out super long and then chop it all off- I'm in the process of growing it out... my hair has never been this long and let me tell you, sometimes it is so annoying and uncooperative that I just want to hack it all off with my desk scissors... but I refrain. (SIDENOTE: I was very close to shaving one half of my head last summer, but my hairdresser talked me out of it by saying that my thick, curly hair would never trust me again). 
  3. Take full advantage of your college gym- a membership will never be this affordable, and you may find a new hobby or class that you really love! I have been going to spin class and yoga lately and I have really enjoyed it. Just last night, I went to BodyPump and I loved it, although I am really sore now.
  4. Have a movie marathon with all of your closest friends- Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Sherlock are some of my friend group's favorites
  5. Make a commitment- Challenge yourself... I became a vegetarian! For me, it was always difficult to be a vegetarian at home, though I have always wanted to try it out. At school, I'm in control of what I eat so I became a "selective vegetarian" last semester and have carried that over to this semester... this means that I am basically a vegetarian but sometimes I just need a turkey sandwich ya feel me?
  6. Write a good old fashion letter to someone- Your mom, dad, grandma, kid brother, dog... whatever... people love opening letters and sometimes people actually read them!
  7. Become emotionally invested in a TV show... it is normal and healthy to cry over these kinds of things sometimes, OKAY
  8. Travel- And I mean anything from studying abroad, to doing a service trip, taking a random weekend road-trip, going to your roommates house, or even just getting to know the area around your university
  9. Go stargazing- If you to to school in "Middle of Nowhere," USA like me, here is the link to the American Meteor Society meteor shower calendar, but if you attend an urban campus, well then I guess the city lights will do for you.
  10. Find a cause and go for it!- March for life, save the whales, whatever... just do it. Learn about your cause and teach others about what makes it so incredible.
  11. Join a random club- Juggling club, karate club, Quidditch club
  12. Fall in love without settlin- never.settle. 
  13. Invest in a killer blazer- Get used to looking professional and keep this handy for interviews
  14. Take a hike- But really, go explore the wilderness of wherever you may be 
  15. Cook a five star gourmet meal with your best friends- or, if you are living the dining hall life, like me, BYOF (Bring Your Own Feta) and peruse the salad bar
  16. Pull an all nighter- Really realize the value of a proper "good night's sleep" and check this exhausting but necessary college right of passage off your list.
  17. Avert drama like a pro and become the biggest bigger person on campus- Is all this tension really necessary? Ain't nobody got time for dat. 
  18. Learn to be independent slash be comfortable being alone slash fly solo sometimes- Being a student at a university means always being surrounded with different kinds of people... sometimes you need to get away from all that. It is perfectly alright to stay in some Saturday nights and take some time to do you (netflix, writing, yoga)
  19. Do something crazy (not crazy-stupid, more like something unexpected)- Dread your hair, get a tattoo, learn to play an instrument, go skydiving... Do something that makes your heart beat fast
  20. Keep a journal- These years go by fast and although there will be days and lessons that you think you'll never forget, writing them down will ensure that you'll remember them and this will also give you time to reflect.