The Graduate

Hey, I’m graduating come Saturday! I personally don’t feel like this is a noteworthy achievement since there are thousands of green-as-summer-grass kids graduating every year. However, I do realize that graduating from college is a privilege that is not shared by all. I value lifelong education and I don’t see education as a waste.

When I was in high school, I never questioned college. It’s just what I had to do. Looking back, however, I should have questioned the whole process. Hindsight is 20/20, yatta yatta…but college isn’t just something that you ‘do’ because you should. It should be to further your chances at being able to follow what you want to do. A lot of 18-year-olds don’t know what the hell they want to do for the rest of their lives, and even if they think they do, they could still be wrong (I was wrong). Being forced to pick a life path, even one that is more flexible, at such a young, immature age is ludicrous, but I guess the line has to be drawn some place.

I’m 23.5 and I don’t really know what I want to do with my life. Really my only passions that I perceive I have are traveling, eating, and meeting strange people. Can I make a living off that? I could scrape by…but with these loans I don’t think that I can. And this is why forcing (immature) kids to choose a life path at 18 is a little crazy: let’s make them pay a metric tonne of money on something that may or may not be what they want to do later. My declared major (nutrition) wasn’t really useless, and my school wasn’t really that expensive. But what if I had really enjoyed art or art history,  and decided to go to a private school? I’d be out with more debt but with a less useful degree…I digress.

Watching the Graduate at a time like this is always reassuring. Granted, that was in the 60’s when America was prosperous, not like today, which is probably the worst time to graduate from college since the Great Depression, but it’s still reassuring. Even if I don’t know where I’m going or what I’ll be doing, life is good.

They’ve no clue what’s about to happen, but who cares?

4 thoughts on “The Graduate

  1. Caleb, I had so many of those same thoughts! How can someone so young be expected to make such an enormous decision? But now at 38, I am still not entirely sure what to be when I grow up. And I’ve learned that a whole lot of other “grown-ups” — even the ones who seem to have it all figured out — don’t either. Somewhere along the way, we hopefully transition from working to get there to just realizing we don’t know where “there” is but enjoying the ride nonetheless. And like you said, life is good!

    I am very proud of you. Congratulations on this achievement in your life!
    Aunt Jennifer

    P.S. travel+eating+meeting strange people = mission work? medical missions?

  2. good post. yeah go on a missions! good bye forever. you should make a last minute run to the career center and they will probably direct you to a website they have that will go through lots of jobs and stuff… im planning to go there tomorrow, thursday. yep

  3. Caleb…..I totally agree with your comments….I’m fifty…something :0) and I, like your Aunt Jennifer, still do not know what I want to be when I grow up! I do know this… is short and it doesn’t get longer….you shouldn’t spend your time on earth doing something that doesn’t bring you joy….whatever you love to do, do it well and do it with joy because when you reflect back on your life, as we all do at different ages, you don’t want to hear these words come back to you, “I should have….” or “I wish I would have done…” I sometimes feel as if I have too many of those moments.

    You love to travel, eat and meet people, and I might also add, you are one heck of a writer, follow this line and you will be happy! So what if it takes you 50 years to pay back college loans, they’ll get paid back eventually!. You are an intelligent, caring individual and if you can love what you do, you’ll be happy and you’ll bring happiness to others. You already probably know that helping others is rewarding and joyful just in what you as the giver gets out of it. Do this as much as you can and don’t be discouraged by the disappointments that you’ll run into but build yourself up with the encouragements you will most assuredly receive!

    I hope you have a wonderful time at Graduation. I’m sorry we won’t be able to attend, but our thoughts will be with you on Saturday! And it IS a big deal too, not everyone gets to do this and I hope to see you continue on with your education, but, do what makes you happy Caleb and you’ll have a fulfilling life! Just make sure to always keep God along with you and never leave Him out of your life!

    I am very proud of you nephew….have a great time this weekend!

    P.S. I love Jennifer’s idea of medical missions, you should look into that. I know others who have done these every year, sometimes more, and really love the work. Something for you to consider!

    Aunt Sherie

    (hope this doesn’t show up twice, I did something wrong the first time I replied….oh well…)

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