Right now, I stand about a year and a half away from my degree. The culmination of my undergraduate life, the fated next step into "the real world", and the expectation to figure out my adult life loom closer than I'd like to think about sometimes. I will come out of school with a degree in International Studies, possibly a minor in Economics, and more maturity in 3.5 years than I've ever gained in twenty. People ask me about it, ask what I'm planning to do and are extremely willing to offer advice.
You want to know something? It scares the crap out of me.
The thing is, I really don't know what I want to do. To be perfectly honest, I'm not ready for a "real life" just yet. I shudder at the thought of sitting at a desk all day. I can't imagine what a "career" for me looks like. I'll have to pay back my debt. At the same time, school is starting to get old for me. I love my major, I love what I'm learning, but at the same time, as usual, I'm restless. Restless to travel, to see the world, to actually see what I read in all of my books and learn in my classes as well as the work I do on the outside. I feel like I'm either sitting down reading all day and writing papers, or working my butt off so I can read all day and write papers, so I can have a piece of paper that says I completed education in areas of my choosing. For what purpose?
I see the worth of education, don't get me wrong. And I do hold a strong fascination with regard to what I'm learning. But I hate this sitting still. I feel like I'm not actually doing anything, not accomplishing anything. I hate that I feel I'm not making a difference. I hate that it all feels superficial to me. Everyone says, "Do this for your resume," "This will be so useful", "You'll make so much money", without realizing that I don't care, I truly don't care about worldly success or riches. All I want, with regards to that, is the bare essentials: a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on my table. The rest, I just want to travel, to experience life in all of its fullness, and to find some way, some way, to make my own corner of the world just a tiny bit better.
I've been told enough to care about my appearance, my reputation, my resume, my career, and my bank account. I've come to realize that I never really did. I care about working hard, living with integrity, and embracing my dreams. I believe in responsibility, but I'm not the kind who gives up easily. I care about looking more than seeing, listening more than hearing, and loving more than fighting.
I will use my education to empower myself. I will use my experience to learn about the world, about how to deal with it, about how to make change in it. Otherwise, to hell with how it all looks. I wasn't looking for that in the first place. May God smite me if I ever was.