My little sister recently remarked that she thought most people had a better idea of what they wanted to do with their lives in the beginning of college than at the end. Of course, this is the same sister who used to tell me that I would die before her because I was three years older. I don’t listen to everything she says, particularly the phrases that begin with the words “Please stop-” or “Can I borrow-.” I think that in this case, though, she might be right.
Rather than narrowing my field of interest, college has introduced me to a number of different disciplines that I have a passing interest in but am too lazy to really pursue very far. I suppose I should be of the mindset that it is never too late to begin studying something completely new and unexpected; think of all the sixty-year old women who take up painting every day. Well anyway, I like thinking about them.
However, at some point I became convinced that if you didn’t begin pursuing something at a very young age, there was no point in taking it up later on in life. Perhaps I got this idea from hearing about adolescent Olympic gymnasts who were doing back flips at age three while everyone else was falling off the balance beam to tinkly piano accompaniment. Maybe it was from hearing about virtuoso musicians who played Carnegie Hall when they turned seven because they’d had violins placed in their tiny webbed hands at sixteen weeks of age.
In any event, this idea of mine is a problem, because most of the things I began studying as a young child led not to Carnegie Hall, but rather to my learning how to eat with a fork and put on pants. Not to demean the skill of putting on pants, I’m sure that at this point I can do it with the best of them. In fact I only wish I had more of an opportunity to demonstrate my aptitude, but Carnegie Hall has not been returning my phone calls.
I’m really not sure what I want to do when I get out of school. I am open to suggestions, but will seriously consider only those that are written in the margins of hundred-dollar bills. I have tried looking to the past to give me ideas for what I might want to do with my life, but that hasn’t been very helpful. The last time I remember having a passionate goal in life was when I was six and wanted to marry Bugs Bunny. It isn’t that I lack direction, it’s that I…ok, so I lack direction.
I’ve always been jealous of those people who, when asked to talk about their careers, say things like, “I’ve always wanted to be a bus driver. Always.” Or, “Ever since I began studying chemistry in highschool, science has been my passion.” Science was my passion after I saw the movie Ghostbusters, but again, only briefly.
I do have passions, they’re just not compatible with paychecks. Ever since I first discovered sleeping late, I’ve known it was something I wanted to devote my life to. The same was true for Tetris, Ramen, and 80’s rock. In some ways, it’s really a shame I’m graduating. College has really allowed me to accomplish many of my goals.