YOUNG VOICES: Focus on present, not just future

2013-01-21T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Focus on present, not just futureBy Abby Greaney nwitimes.com
January 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

“If we are facing the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” –Buddhist Proverb

What am I going to do with my life? This is a question I hear often floating around campus and in various discussions with my friends.

We are at a time in our lives where the possibilities for the future seem endless, but also overwhelming.

Young people feel enormous pressure to get the best grades, at the best school, and snag the best job to ensure the best quality of life. I feel that this is especially true at this time of year when people are resolving to do all sorts of things for the new year that will improve their lives.

This topic has been on my mind a lot as I ponder my own future as a college graduate in a little over a year.

I listen to people I know talk about graduation, finding a job, getting an internship, or doing a year of service, and I can’t help but worry about where my life is headed. However, I take comfort knowing I am not alone in my struggle to find my path.

I think many college students are given the false impression that by this point in their lives they have to have everything figured out. That’s just not the case. There are many students who are figuring things out as they go, just like me.

I have come to believe that part of the college process involves exactly that. This is a time for us to try new things, have new experiences, and test out different paths. And if we don’t like where we’re headed, then there’s always room for change. I think students need that reminder sometime, as it is so easy to get caught up in worrying about the future.

Yes, we are at college to prepare ourselves for the future, but that doesn't mean we should forget to live for now and all the wonderful opportunities college brings. Life is supposed to be about taking chances. The only real bad thing would be to sit back and do nothing at all.

So instead of spending this new year and new semester worrying about what I’ll be doing a year from now, two years from now, or even 10 years from now, I’m pledging to live in the moment. I’m going to focus on doing the things I love in the company of people I enjoy and stop spending time worrying about a distant future that will probably be nothing like what I imagine.

Though I might not know exactly where I’m going, I’ll get there, and so will every other student if they just keep on walking and embracing all that life has to offer.

Abby Greaney of Lowell is a junior at Valparaiso University. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.

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