I don’t have a plan for my life. While my inner perfectionist cringes at that admittance and my overachieving ego is embarrassed to have little to show for my past four years, I have yet to settle on any sort of plan. At the age of 18, I thought going off to college was the chance to have a “fresh start” where I would go to school with newfound best friends and meet my future husband while preparing for the career I had written on my admissions forms, a plan nobody could argue with. What I didn’t plan for, however, was everything that actually happened.
Four years, two transfers, three changes in majors, and a few hundred all-nighters later, I have finally come to accept not knowing, or rather, accepting life as it is without a plan interfering. I thought college was the chance to have a “fresh start” until I realized each day presents that same chance, and what better time to seize those opportunities than right now? Today, I want to shop thrift stores in search of my next Pinterest-esque decorating adventure. Tomorrow, I could be kayaking with my friends, learning a new word in sign language, or singing terrible karaoke at a dive bar. Isn’t that exhilarating?
I’m sure someday I’ll make decisions one by one about what to do with my life. Marriage or Crazy Dog Lady? City or Small Town? Midwest or West Coast? Grad School or Travel? I’ve found it impossible to stick to a plan or to have my hopes set on any one particular venture when there is so much out there I know so little about. And while my four years spent in an ongoing challenge of intelligence, discipline, and self-preservation have not yet allowed me to walk across a stage to a diploma, showcase an engagement ring, or even be able to answer the question of what I want to do with my life, I’ve found in these years a thirst for adventure and a thrill for adaptation to whatever each day brings, skills I never possessed when I had a plan.Maybe it’s the thrill of finding the freedom in each new day that college is the best opportunity for, even if some days, the only freedom we see is being able to hit the snooze button once before going to class. Here’s to us, the generation with the freedom to explore all there is to offer, to not knowing and not having to, to surviving and thriving, to finding ourselves in the so-called “Best 4 Years” even if it takes us 5, 6, or 15 years.