Thanksgiving break is in two weeks. That means that when we come back, we have less than a month left in the semester. Everybody just let that sink in for a quick second. I know this saying is so cliché and overused, but time literally does fly by. I still haven’t processed the fact that I have only three semesters left at John Carroll before I graduate, nor have I processed the fact that I’m going to need to find an actual big girl job in about a year and a half. In fact, there’s a lot of stuff I still haven’t processed or accepted. The truth is, I have no clue where I’m going to go after I graduate. I don’t know what city I’ll be living in or what company I’ll be working for. Heck, I don’t even know if I’ll be staying in the country. There is so much uncertainty that is waiting for me in the next couple of years, and as I’m sure my fellow juniors and seniors know, it is absolutely frightening.
When I scheduled my spring semester classes last week, I realized that I have almost finished all the requirements for both my major and minor. After I finish this year, I will only have one more communications class to take to finish my major and one more Spanish class to finish my minor. That means that I have 34 other credit hours to fill with basically whatever I want. When I told my father this, he recommended that I use those hours to take business and computer science classes. He insisted that those would be the most beneficial to me when looking for a career, in which case he is absolutely right. Since I have not yet taken many classes in either of those fields, filling the rest of my credit requirements with such classes could only give me a leg up when I start hunting for a career. However, as I mentioned in my introduction, I don’t even know what kind of job I want to have yet. The one thing I do know, though, is that I’ve discovered two passions in my time here at John Carroll – writing and Spanish. Both of these subjects are things that I am devoted to becoming adept at. I seriously cannot wait until I am able to listen to Spanish music and watch telenovelas and know everything that is said, and I can’t imagine starting a career that doesn’t somehow involve writing.
Before I go on, I want to make something very clear. My dad is a very wise man and most of the time knows what he is talking about. I am not advocating defying your parents and doing the opposite of anything they say. However, sometimes you have to take their advice, put it in the back of your mind and make decisions for yourself, especially when it comes to what you want to do with the rest of your life. As I mentioned, my dad was not wrong in saying that business and computer science classes will be helpful to my career, and I will certainly take some of these next year. But, since I am in love with the prospect of being fluent in Spanish, I will likely use most of my remaining credits to take classes that will improve my Spanish skills. I know a lot of people may see this as foolish and a waste of time and money, but I just have trouble seeing how learning something that I love could ever be a waste of anything. Maybe it won’t help me make a lot of money, but I’ve come to accept that I’m okay with never being filthy rich or driving a Bentley or living in a Kardashian-style mansion. I will be perfectly happy as long as I’m doing something that I love with people that I love.
This leads to my next point, which came about as a sort of revelation to me when I was having a conversation with my roommate a couple of weeks ago. We were talking about how after we graduate, we will never see roughly 98 percent of our classmates again, with the exception of class reunions or chance encounters. Our John Carroll community is like a bubble in the way that we are held together now, but after we graduate our bubble is going to pop and we will all scatter to our own little corners of the world and build our lives there. When I take time to really think that through, it makes me consider why I do a lot of the things I do to impress other people on a day-to-day basis. But seriously, why? Knowing that in just over a year and half I will be surrounded by completely new people, why should I care so much what other people think of me?
So, before I get too preachy, I’ll wrap this up. In short, when you find that thing you love to do more than anything else, give yourself to it wholeheartedly, even if it won’t make you rich. Then, find the people that you care about the most, and give them the rest of your time and energy and then just forget about the haters. I know this is way easier said than done, and I can’t pretend that I’m the best at it, but there’s no time like the present to start trying harder, especially since the present won’t be the present for much longer.