College: The Stepping Stone to Real Life

By Danielle Lieneman 

With the end of the semester coming up, that means a lot of changes for a lot of people. High school graduates are about to leave home for the first time, college seniors are about to enter the real world (although I’m still in denial about that one), and for everyone else it’s still the end of a school year and one step closer to the finish line. Has anyone else noticed that life sometimes feels like one long marathon but as you start to get closer to it, you realize it’s just another hurdle and you don’t actually get a break? I can’t be the only one constantly feeling the pressure, especially when it seems like everyone has his or her life completely figured out. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and feel inadequate, but from one terrified senior to another: it’s ok to not quite have it all set in stone just yet.

Before my freshman year began I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and I do mean exactly. I had my entire life mapped out: I was going to double major in international relations and French, with a killer GPA of course, and continue my education at Georgetown and eventually work at the State Department or the United Nations. 4 years later I’m about to graduate with a degree in advertising and English, bound for the publishing industry. Things happen, plans get derailed, people change and that’s ok.

Don’t worry if you still don’t quite have your life figured out yet. That’s what college is for. You’ve always been curious about art but don’t know the first thing about it? Take art history.  Love the mechanics of things and think engineering might be for you? Join a robotics club.  No matter your passion, there’s a club or a class, or both, that can allow you to explore it.  I took my first college English class on a whim (not that I wasn’t reading nonstop before then), and now my English classes are usually my favorite classes of the semester. I’m a member of my school’s Model United Nations team even though it has no direct correlation to my career goals anymore.

Get to learning. Start exploring. College may be the first stepping stone into the real world, but it’s just that: a step.

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