A stressful night leads to sharing more than you probably should on your blog so read away at some of the things you probably didn’t know about me:
1. Harry Potter is my favorite book series. Okay, a lot of you probably already knew that.
2. I don’t want to live in Indiana after I graduate.
3. I want to teach, and I’m getting a junior high/high school English education degree, but I don’t want to teach in the same corporation for 30 years.
4. I want to look into teaching at the collegiate level.
5. If I could meet one person, I would choose J.K. Rowling.
6. The first book I read was Hop on Pop when I was three.
7. My favorite color is aqua.
8. I don’t want an extravagant wedding. I would rather just go to a beach somewhere with my family and my guy’s family. Then, we can come back and have a nifty little reception.
9. I feel most comfortable in a flannel and jeans.
10. I could watch a lot of the same movies again and again and again for the rest of my life, and I would never get tired of them.
11. Ask me to spend an hour quoting Mean Girls, Baby Mama or Bridesmaids with you and we’ll have a ball.
12. I want to adopt a child later down the road.
13. At times, I just want to be a hippie and travel the world while helping people.
14. Other times, I want to be a scholarly author who writes a lot of novels, short stories or poems.
15. My favorite type of food is breakfast food.
16. I’ve never sung in front of anyone, but I sing by myself all the time.
17. When I dance, I probably look like a flower child.
18. If I could marry one singer, I would be a polygamist, and I would choose Ed Sheeran and Adam Levine. Okay, I’m kidding, but it would be a tough decision.
19. My dream job would be to get paid to write for my blog, but that’s pretty unlikely so feel free to send pity cash my way through college.
20. I am the quietest person you’ll ever meet until you get to know me. Then I probably won’t shut up.
21. I’m also THE MOST awkward person you’ll ever meet. I’ve learned to embrace it, though. Just call me Jess. *New Girl reference*
22. I’m allergic to cats.
23. I want a tattoo, but I passed out when I got my shots for school so it’s pretty unlikely.
24. Speaking of passing out, medical situations freak me out so don’t have any near-death experiences around me.
25. BUT I am addicted to Grey’s Anatomy at the moment.
26. If I have spare change, I ALWAYS put it in the Riley Children’s Hospital buckets.
27. Goodwill has ruined me, and I hate paying full price for anything.
28. I can’t cook unless you want me to make some stellar pancakes.
29. With that said, I want to learn how to cook.
30. Dance Moms is my guilty pleasure.
31. I can’t paint my nails without screwing them up so they always look as though a five-year-old painted them . . . IF they are painted.
32. Scary movies give me the biggest thrill.
33. I was afraid of grass until I was three.
34. I want to backpack around the world. Yes, the world. Maybe that’s a stretch, but I think that’d be neat.
35. I don’t want to live in the same place for a long period of time. Basically, I’m probably a nomad.
36. I know I’m not a great writer, but it’s my biggest escape.
37. My favorite soda is Mr. Pibb.
38. I call it soda instead of pop, and I don’t care if it’s a southern term. I lived in Florida for six months and I WILL embrace it.
39. A jellyfish stung me when I was little and it was terrible. I don’t recommend it.
40. I like to give my pets people names. Track record: Charlie, Steve, Max, Clay.
41. I wish I knew how to play guitar or piano.
42. My first concert was Britney Spears.
43. June 21, 2014 was when I accepted Christ.
44. I Pinterest way too much than I think is healthy.
45. I eat every three hours.
46. I laugh at everything.
47. I cannot stand to see someone upset or hurt. It will eat away at me until I can help.
48. I don’t really know anything about sports. Let’s talk movies instead.
49. I feel the most at ease when I am either in a library or outside in the grass near water.
50. When I picture my future self, I am somewhere green, outside, spreading goodwill in some form, twirling in circles, and laughing with people I love.
How many times have you been asked about what you want to do with your life?
Five times? Ten times? Twenty-five times?
And out of that number of times, how many times have you reciprocated with a completely confident, guaranteed response? Once . . . Maybe.
Something I’ve found interesting lately is the way our minds work and how often we change our minds. I have enough trouble deciding what to wear for classes the next morning, and then sticking with my same decision when I wake up. Do I dress for comfort or should I dress for success? Anyway, our minds change every day.
When someone asks me what I want to do with my life after college, sure, I think about a responsible, sensible answer: English teaching. My degree will allow me to teach anywhere from fifth grade English/Language Arts up to twelfth grade English/Language Arts. It only makes sense that I teach junior high or high school Language Arts, right?
Well, what happens when you think about all the possibilities life has to offer? Sure, it looks good to have a degree. This is why most of us go to college. We want to be professional, trained, and credible. But, honestly, how many people actually find jobs in a degree-specific career?
Now, there are those degrees we need to function as a country. We need doctors, teachers, and other licensed professionals. All of you, I applaud you.
One second, I want to get my Doctorate in English so I can gain everything I can out of my education, and then become a well-known, renowned professor at a university. The next second, I want to live out of a backpack and teach yoga or English in a village on the other side of the world.
Maybe my attention span is just a little too haywire to focus on settling down at this point in my life, but to all of you who took the responsibility of taking on those careers, give yourself some pats on the back and a plate of warm cookies.
I just feel sorry for those people who think they have to do something to be considered a successful person in life.
Let’s set aside real-world responsibilities and the rules of life that society dictates for us. If we want, we can take off out of the country and move to another country after we graduate college. Other countries have jobs, they pay their employers, and the newfound sense of adventure gives you a change of pace in your seemingly monotonous life.
Everyone probably thinks I am completely insane. Well, that’s okay. Maybe it is insane. But what if I decide to move to another country after college and teach yoga on a mountainside? Will the pay be disappointing? Probably. Will I experience a different culture, lifestyle, and meet people from around the world? Definitely.
What if you graduate college and leave the country?
What if it is scary?
What if you meet people from all facets of society?
What if you help others?
What if you leave your adventure knowing you made an impact?
What if you settle into what society deems is the “right” thing to do after college, and you succumb into a life of settling for less than the best?
Maybe this is a bunch of rambling because I’m writing this instead of doing homework in the library at my own university, but maybe there is a little bit of sense behind seeing the world before you settle. Go after life headfirst, experience the wonders of the world, helps others, experience a lifestyle different from your own, and squeeze everything out of life while you can because one day, you’re going to look back on your life and remember everything you said you wanted to do, but didn’t. Don’t conform. Create.
Have you ever had those moments when you looked at a situation too closely, and it soon seemed to appear a little bit fuzzy and a little too hard to understand?
This is when we lose perspective.
I noticed this as I walked around campus last night. As I approached the Bell Tower on our beloved campus, I took a moment to catch my breath and truly take in the campus’s scenery around me. When you’re at the heart of campus in the middle of the day, crowds of people surround you, and you begin to feel a little frustrated and maybe even a little claustrophobic. All these negative feelings take away the beauty of the world around you. You’re on a beautiful campus, surrounded by people who also have no idea what they want to do with their lives, and you’re breathing. What is more beautiful than that?
Even though sometimes circumstances seem a little too hard to handle, try taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. I admit, I’ve struggled with this for a little while, and it’s an undermining feeling. You wonder why you’re in this situation, and then you begin to wonder if it will ever get easier.
Well, it does get easier once you look at the bigger picture.
Take your situation, what ever it may be, and start to think about the positive aspects of it. Is your residence hall falling apart? At least you’ll get a good laugh when you think about it years from now. Have you recently lost a loved one? Maybe you can try thinking about what all that person taught you, and you can think about the fond memories you shared.
I’m not an expert, and I don’t claim to be, but I can vouch from experience. Change your perspective, liven up your life a little bit, and then give your situation another thought.
Sometimes we meet people, and sometimes we lose people. Other times, we have to say, “Goodbye” to people we don’t want to lose.
Saying, “Goodbye” sucks, doesn’t it? It really sucks.
It makes us worry, fret, and fuss over situations we cannot change.
Life isn’t ours to control, and it isn’t ours to manipulate or hate. Basically, life is ours to create. We take what God has given us, and we use it to beautify the world around us. When we’re given a tough situation, we breathe, we relax, and we show others around us how brilliant, beautiful, admirable, and stimulating we find them.
What does this sound like? The Golden Rule.
If we treat others the way we want to be treated, then not only are we spreading good, but we make other people want to reciprocate the fashion. It’s pretty similar to the “pay it forward” idea. If someone does something generous for you, then you perform the same act of kindness for another soul who crosses your path.
Doesn’t this make you happy?
Just knowing that by one simple act of kindness, we have the ability to possibly spread generosity and hope throughout the world. By putting aside our differences in our beliefs, we have the power to create peace within our hometowns, states, nation, and world.
With just one simple act of kindness, we can change not only our own perspectives on our difficult situations, but we can also change the world’s perspective on the differences we share.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.