I am 22 years old and I want too much. I want so much for my life.
I graduate in 3 1/2 months and I have no idea what I’m going to use my degree for. I don’t know what I want to do to make money. But I know what I want to do.
I want to see the world. I want to go to the big cities that make me feel alive. The cities that make me feel right at home. The cities where getting lost doesn’t feel uncomfortable. The cities where my fashion sense can actually be appreciated. The cities where people don’t know your name so you can escape and be totally invisible.
I want to go the small towns that make me feel accepted. The towns that welcome any newcomers. The towns that are so small it’s nearly impossible to get lost. The towns where my fashion sense would make people wonder where I came from. The towns where everybody knows you and won’t let you escape or be invisible.
I want to see everything there is to see. I want to feel the warmth of the sun and a cool breeze through my hair at the same time that someone else is getting snowed on. I want to marvel at the green hills of Ireland and the mountains of Switzerland. I want to share these sights with my family and some day with my children. Because I want them to yearn like I do. With one condition: I want them to feel as though what they are yearning for is within their reach.
I want to own a little bakery that people visit every Sunday. That my kids will have memories of. I want the smell of bread and brownies and cakes bring a flood of memories to people. I want to share my family recipes and love of baking with people who will enjoy it. I want to do the things that I’m too afraid to try.
I want to believe that the things I yearn for are within my reach.
I think about how I have spent the past four years of my life, and I wonder if it was the right thing to do. If it’s right for anyone to do. We’re told we can’t make it in the world anymore without a college degree. So then we shove as many students as we can into colleges and we all come out with degrees. And then we’re told that that degree doesn’t make much of a difference anymore because everyone has one. So what were we doing with those four years then?
Maybe I should have taken my student loan money and used it to see what I want to see. To do what I want to do. Maybe I would have learned more about life and about myself and about failures and success had I not spent four years in a classroom listening to someone tell me what’s important. Maybe they should have told us to figure out for ourselves what is important.
I hope that this doesn’t come off as ungrateful. I have said many times before that I am privileged to go to college and get the education that I have received. All I am saying is that there are plenty of other forms of privilege we should recognize. And plenty of other reasons to feel grateful in our lives.
Most of us come to college at only 19 years old and they tell us we need to decide what we’re going to do with our lives now. 3 months ago, we had to ask if we could use the bathroom but now we’re given that huge responsibility? Why are we always in such a rush? Then we pick a major and we rush along in hopes to graduate on time so that we can rush into the real world to find a job so that we can get into a routine that go through mindlessly every single day. Why do we do that to our young adults? Why do we do that to ourselves?
We only get one life and I’m tired of rushing through mine.