I guess it’s to be expected that during second semester of senior year, I’m hearing a whole lot of freaking out among my classmates. Where am I going to be next year? How am I supposed to pay off college loans? Where am I going to live? How am I supposed to get a job with a British Literature major when I really love teaching kids to snowboard? It’s fair to have these questions, believe me, I have them too. (And just for the record, I’m not a Brit Lit major, nor have I ever been snowboarding. If and when I do, I promise to have someone record it and I will post the video.)
But anyways, these questions are legit. For many of us, it’s the first time in our lives where actually have no clue what we are doing in a mere 3 months, where we are going, and what the next step should be. Not to even mention the whole money problem. So I felt like tonight was a good night to try and shed some calm on this storm that many of us are finding ourselves stuck in. You may not be a college senior – this can go for anyone I guess. We are all on a perpetual journey to find ourselves; to discover the thing that really ignites the passion in our heart. So fear not, and keep reading. All are welcome.
Here are my two pieces of advice, of course inspired both by quotes I have heard. You can count on me for some good quote inspiration, if nothing else.
1) “If you’re not lost, you’re not much of an explorer.” – J.P. Barlow
So this one I love. Perhaps its because I tend to get lost a lot, and so whoever this Mr. J.P. Barlow is, well, he’s making me feel okay about it. But when you take time to get to the root of what he is saying, it’s quite profound. Where you are in your life may seem crazy, and you may feel like you need the world’s best GPS to find your way back to your own heart. Use this time! Appreciate the lessons you are going to learn on the way and the road signs you pass through unfamiliar towns. How many times have you found a hidden treasure in a town you’ve never heard of? Like on a family road trip, you end up finding the best burger joint in the middle of nowhere? Or passing through the country, you see the home that you’d like more than anything to live in one day? These are things that you never would have found if you didn’t take that first step to venture out. As a beautiful old wood carving at my aunt’s house reads, “The way ain’t sunny, but don’t you fret; cheer up honey, we’ll get there yet.” And you will get there, wherever there is. Personally, I’ve gotten to the point where I am excited to find out where “there” is for me, but I’m not anxious. I’m enjoying the journey of being an explorer, just like Barlow said.
2) “Sometimes, your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” – Margaret Shepard
Again, way to go whoever you are, Ms. Margaret Shepard. Simple, yet woah. So for me, leaping at all is not a good thing. My balance is not overly impressive, and I’m not a huge fan of jumping. I like the ground, and staying close to it. So leaping = not cool. Therefore, add in “of faith” and you really get me sitting. Leaps of faith are hard! But remember, the core meaning of faith is “to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe” (St. Augustine). When you are able to buckle up as best as you can, squeeze your eyes shut and leap, you may be surprised where you land. I know that there have been times in my life I’ve been terrified to make that step, but deciding that it was probably worth the fall is what made me cross that threshold. I came to Creighton on a total leap of faith – I felt like it was a good place for me, and I came here. All logic would have pointed me somewhere else (I knew absolutely no one, had no connection to the Midwest, not to mention I’m a squillion miles away from the nearest ocean….) But that decision to make the jump to Omaha, seeing as it was “my only available transportation” ended up being one of the smartest things I have ever done. In four short years, I’ve come so far, met people who have changed my life, and it all could have never happened if I didn’t take a chance on myself.
So those are my two pieces of advice. Get comfortable with the idea of being lost, because it simply means that you’re a good explorer. And take that leap of faith, because you never know how much your landing will teach you. Of course, I found one more quote for you: “Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” Boom. That’s it.