“So, what are your plans once you’re done with college?”
“Where do you hope to be in 10 years?”
“Have you thought about grad school?”
Think back to your freshman year of college, whenever that was. Take a second and count all the times that you were expected to answer any of these questions.….done?
Chances are you couldn’t count even if you wanted to. I was asked all three questions before I even made it to the first day of classes my freshman year of college. Before I even had a chance to get locked out of my dorm room, get lost going to class, or reach a level of poorness that would require me to eat nothing but peanut butter for two weeks (which is fun for like the first two days, until you realize that so is real food), I was being asked what I would be doing 10 years from now.
THIS IS A PROBLEM.
Please understand me when I say: goals are GOOD. They are what keep us motivated to fight through life when it seems too hard. Goal setters are the ones keeping the world going. With all that being said though: sometimes we get so caught up in our FUTURE goals that we forget to live in the PRESENT goals that we just worked so hard to get to.
Before an 18 year old even makes it through the doors for the first time of whatever college campus they will be attending, they are already becoming consumed with where they will be heading the last time they walk through those doors.
There is beauty in the NOW.
Set goals, yes. Think about what it is that you want to accomplish with your life, of course. But don’t become so consumed with the rest of your life that you miss out on the four years you’re living in now.
College is a gift. I know sometimes it doesn't seem that way, but the closer I get to all of this being over, the more I'm reminded of that. It’s a chance to live life before life really hits you too hard. It is an opportunity to discover what it is you truly love and want to dedicate your life to. It’s also a place where some of your best (and let’s be real, probably a few of your not so best) memories will come from. Your life long friends and your true identity can be found on any campus that you’re standing on. Enjoy it. Learn to appreciate even the hard days, and never take for granted the good ones. You never get to re-do this season of your life, so make it count.
You have the rest of your life to worry, stress, and panic about “10 years from now.”
So take a deep breath. Be easy on yourself if things don’t always turn out exactly how you thought they would. And most importantly, appreciate your NOWS, while always keeping an eye on your tomorrows.