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An eye on the future

January 23rd, 2015

Welcome to the future.

2015 has arrived. As predicted by Back to the Future II, we enjoy a mostly comfortable existence in an age of amazing technology. We’re still waiting on flying cars and a Cubs’ World Series victory, but for the most part we have it made.

Looking into the future is intriguing. Will on-campus construction ever end? Will the Browns ever win a Super Bowl?

Examining your own future can be just as interesting, and also very important.

As a kid, I always wondered what profession I would enter as an adult. I eliminated professional athlete and doctor early on. My first dream job was a train engineer, or as I called it, “a choo choo driver.”

In grade school, I dreamed of becoming a weatherman. As the old joke goes, it’s the easiest job in Cleveland since the meteorologists in this town often fail to accurately predict the weather. In their defense, this city’s weather is absurd.  One day, it’s 60 degrees and sunny and the next there is snow on the ground.

Later on, I ditched that dream and considered becoming a lawyer. The thought of law school caused me to change my mind in a hurry.

As I entered high school, I started narrowing down the possibilities. I eventually decided that I wanted to become a writer. As I continue on in my junior year at John Carroll, I still dream of becoming a professional writer, be it as a sports reporter or a member of a sports information department.

Even though I know my goal, I still think about my future every day. You should, too.

The decisions you make now not only your path in life, but your choices – big and small – also shape you as a person. What major will you choose? Will you help out your friend, roommate or fellow Blue Streak in his/her time of need?

I recognize that I am incredibly fortunate. I know where I want to be in 5, 10, 25 years. I have found my calling. If you haven’t found your purpose in life, looking forward can be scary. Uncertainty and apprehension might cloud your future.

Instead of fretting about the unknown, control what you can and let go of the rest.

Do something every day to prepare yourself for the future. Organize your calendar. Plan out a much-needed vacation. Schedule informational interviews with professionals in your field of interest.

You can do many things to make your life easier and improve your prospects of living a happy life with good job prospects once you graduate from college. We are at JCU to learn and have fun, but this is where we determine our future.

As you make decisions, think about the implications they carry for your future self. Will you take Cabbie D to Coventry on Thursday night and skip class on Friday morning, or will you stay in and finish that paper due in the morning? How would a late penalty affect your grade and your professor’s view of you as a student?

Small decisions can quickly add up to big consequences. Not every choice is crucial to your future, but many are.

Even if you have your career path already paved and you know what you want to be when you grow up, always keep your future in the back of your mind.

To end this column, I’d like to quote one of my favorite of the 20th century, J.R.R. Tolkien, from his masterpiece, “The Hobbit”:

“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.

The chances, the changes are all yours to make.

The mold of your life is in your hands to break.”