By Christina Astore, Alpha Class
If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking down at your smartphone or staring at a computer screen. You probably are a student who graduated from high school and then went straight to college. You chose a degree that you may or may have not been completely in love with (and that’s okay), and you are now following through the motions of what it means to be a college student and young adult in 2016.
Moreover, you’re probably passionate about life, about learning, you’re a decent human being who enjoys helping others, and you take pride in following your heart and intuition.
But, for lack of a better phrase, you also struggle. You have a hard time following norms and the “how it’s always been(s)”. You’re tired of doing things and going through the motions because that’s what everyone else does. This isn’t right or wrong, but it should be known that this is a common trend for young adults, as we all are aware of.
I know what you’re thinking. You think I’m going to tell you that you should drop everything and move to the Bahamas to sell ice cream. Don’t worry, I’m not (if you want to do that, go for it; I’ve considered it once or twice).
What I am here to do is to offer you a shift in perspective, a new way of thinking about things, that will hopefully help you make some choices that will positively benefit many aspects of your life.
To do this I want to start by sharing with you two questions that I’ve heard enough in the last four years to last me a lifetime and then some:
1. Are you doing what makes you happy?
2. What do you want to do with that degree after you graduate?
If you’re like me, someone who has many loves, interests, and passions, you can’t help but choke when you hear these words leave the mouths of friends, family members, colleagues, peers, etc. But wait.
1. Is what you’re doing right now serving you mentally, physically, and emotionally?
2. What problems in the world matter to you, and which ones do you want to fix?
It’s a lost easier to know and feel if what you’re doing in this moment is positively benefiting you. That being said, if you genuinely feel like you’re doing good things for your mind and your soul, that will spark the happiness that you strive for. Life is all about creating yourself. Experiences help you learn what you like and dislike, so realize this is valuable information that you can use to your advantage. The more likes and dislikes you’re aware of, the better choices you can make that will serve you well and in turn, make you happy. Any step, large or small, is a step forward- remember that.
The second question is one that I have personally struggled with throughout my life. Ever since I can remember I have been asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, and recently, the adult version of that question: what are you going to do with that degree when you graduate? Through the years, it’s always been difficult for me to muster up some response that would seemingly satisfy not only everyone else but myself. A few weeks back someone asked me what issues I cared about and which I wanted to see change the most in this world. When I heard this, it was like a mountain was relieved from my shoulder. It allowed me to instantly change how I was thinking about my goals for myself, and again, it became something that was much more within reach.