What I envy most about the rest of the animal kingdom is their ability to live completely in the present. To be a chimpanzee using a stick to fish termites out of a rotted log, enjoying every exoskeleton crunch without a thought as to when he might find termites the next time and the time after that. To be able to appreciate every moment for what it is, a moment of sweet life, is a skill I hope to improve upon.
We’ve been in school since we were five years old. We’ve spent more time in school than out. We’ve been in training: building our tool-kit, honing our skills, polishing our presence and developing a sense of self-awareness. We’ve been training for this very moment: the moment when we leave our comfort zone and step out from the shelter provided by our families, our school, our community. Now, here we are, tool-kits in hand, ready to take on the world.
Our most powerful tool is our education. We’ve been taught to think critically about the very foundations of modern society: to question our actions and our ideas, and the thoughts and deeds of those who came before us. When we leave college, our most immediate challenges may be renting that first apartment and getting that first job. But our biggest challenge is one we’ll face for the rest of our lives: to use our educations to chase our passions and cling to them for dear life.
Approaching the near end of my fall semester of senior year, I never realized how much preparation goes into the next aspect of my life. Everyone should invest in at least two post-graduation plans. My post-graduate plans have me torn between business school and working for two years then going back to school to get my MBA.
With your plans in place, it is now time to take action. In the past two weeks, I have interviewed with a number of companies to give myself a variety of options. Along with that, I am preparing to take the GRE, which is a graduate test that individuals must take in order to receive an even higher education. I have not put all my eggs in one basket and neither should you.
As we turn to face these new challenges, I hope you will all hold in your hearts the words of Alan Alexander Milne:
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Lauren Hawkins is a senior majoring in economics at Spelman College and will graduate in spring 2014. She plans to pursue a JD/MBA and set up a vintage shop after college. She dreams of her vintage shop overtaking big chain fashion companies. Lauren loves to write and her favorite place to spend weekends is in a park with a good book.