It’s funny. The classic college graduate, or normal 22-year old, is supposed to have their life figured out by the time they graduate. If only that were true. I find that cliché very ironic when considering how many college students change their major and graduate with no clue as to what they want to do with their lives. Maybe I’m a lucky one, knowing what I am doing for the next three years, or maybe I am unlucky.
I don’t think that enough respect and understanding is given to those people who are unafraid of taking their time to figure things out and decide on the next chapter of their life. I know two sassy Jersey girls who are doing just that; taking their time before jumping into a career. I would definitely say that it fits their personalities, but it is also their outlook. Their view is that they have their whole life ahead of them and everything will work out if they don’t know what they want to do today or don’t have a job by summer’s end. Their inner faith and strength allows them to approach each day as its own and work to make the most of every moment. They are both working for their respective family business off and on for now, but that isn’t necessarily what they want to do. They have dreams and aspirations just like people with a plan, but their approach is different. In recent days I’ve discussed this outlook with a number of people and everyone has a different opinion on what they should do. I understand the argument that the sooner the better. However, is that always true?
It isn’t the means to the end that matter. Sure, going into finance or graduate school are safe and smart plans, but safe doesn’t always suit everyone. My hat is off to those who buck conventional wisdom and are willing to take a few risks along the way. Taking the summer to relax from college and then using the next few months to move to a new state and begin figuring things out is just as wise.
We are in too much of a hurry to move from one thing to another. I am thankful to have a few months to put everything in perspective and spend time with my family before my life really begins. We have to value the time we have and do what makes us happy. There is no sense in doing something because everyone else says to do it if you aren’t going to enjoy it. That’s foolish. I’m not going to say carpe diem, because seizing the day isn’t what I really mean. Yes, that’s important, but it isn’t the most important thing. Too often we join the rat race and forget about ourselves and what makes us happy. It seems that almost every person I talk to who has worked for 30 or more years tells me to find something that makes me happy. That’s my plan, but it isn’t that easy. We have to work hard to do that and work even harder to keep the in perspective and cherish it if we find it. That is what my friends who are taking the time to live life and not worry about what they are doing five years from now, a year from now, or even tomorrow are doing. They get it. They are in no hurry to start a new chapter. Instead, they are valuing each day as its own and using that to their advantage. They know that one day they will be parents, writers, business leaders, and inspirational women. To their credit, they live in the moment each day. Give it a try if you can, I know I am between now and law school.
Now that I’ve lectured you, I would like to just say a few words about Memorial Day, our veterans, and all of the men and women who protect this country: I’m fortunate to personally know two young men who graduated from the US Naval and Air Force Academies respectively in the past week. As I told them each congratulations on their accomplishment, I also thanked them for their service and commitment to the United States of America. Take tomorrow to say thank you to any service men or women, past and present, you know or encounter for all that they have done and will do for us. Don’t let their service be in vain.
Before we part, here are some songs that I think will help you celebrate Memorial Day, enjoy the summer, and if you let the music wash over you, you’ll reflect on your time and what is most important to you. (I love country music, as you’re about to find out.)
Have You Forgotten - Darryl Worley
American Soldier - Allan Jackson
Summertime - Kenny Chesney
Summer Nights - Rascal Flatts
Moments - Emerson Drive