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Moving on

September 27, 2012

MCELWEE

 

NATALIE MCELWEE
News Editor

 

Growing up is hard to do. As a senior in college, I am finding this to be much more of a reality than I would like.

 

I have been working toward a college diploma since before I can remember. School has been my goal, my life and my world. It has always been something I have enjoyed even when it has been overwhelming. I would rather be in school than most any other place.

 

Now the time has come where I can see the finish line. It is less than three short quarters away, and the real world has begun to haunt me.

 

There has never been a time in my life where I can remember filling my time with anything but school. I know how to do school. I am good at it. It is where I am comfortable. And now, I must leave it.

 

I am being forced to part with the only world I know. I am realizing what I am most uncomfortable with is something most people crave: freedom. I have too much of it. I can move anywhere I want, be anything I want and become whoever I wish to become.

 

Poet E.E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

 

I could not agree more with his statement. Call me a coward, but I am scared to become a full-fledged adult. While I don’t feel like I am the only one with pre-graduation jitters, I feel so alone in this transitional process.

 

It is up to me to make my life happen.

 

I am the one who has to decide everything after May 2013. I have to apply for jobs, move to my own place and say goodbye to the people I have built relationships with over the course of my college career. I have to say adios to my comfort zone.

 

Part of me wants to stay local and only put a toe into the water before I jump.

 

The other part wants to dive into a big city and find out what the world has to offer. I could move to England and become a publisher, run a coffee shop in New York City or even raise sledding dogs in Alaska. Who knows?

 

For once, life is not planned out into a series of time limits, and I can make it look like whatever I want it to look like.

 

If anything, this growing-up process is teaching me that time is precious. We only get one childhood. We only get a limited amount of time to goof off before we have to actually be responsible for ourselves.

 

Looking back over my life, I can honestly say I have spent far too much of it planning for the future instead of enjoying the present.

 

My goal was always more important than what was going on around me.

 

Now, I am faced with having to plan my life. I have no other choice. If I don’t do it, nobody else will do it. I guess what I am getting at with all this rambling is to urge college students to enjoy that part of your life where you don’t have to have it all figured out. That is a truly unique time no one can ever get back.

 

For anyone reading this, I’m not saying happiness ends with college.

 

I’m simply saying make the most of the carefree college days. Join clubs, make friends, stay up way too late, go to Wal-Mart at 3 a.m., be spontaneous and take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.

 

You might not remember every test you take, but you will remember the random adventures. Fun is just as important as your classes in college. It just isn’t written in the syllabus.

 

Natalie McElwee is a senior journalism major from West Monroe who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to nkm003@latech.edu.

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One Response to Moving on

  1. Craig Bryan Reply

    September 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I am an alumnus of la tech. I graduated in 2002. I can tell you in the past 10 years I have been fortunate to live in Dallas, Kansas City, and the San Francisco area. I am married with 2 wonderful children. I encourage you to think of post-school life as the real education you’ll receive in life. Not in terms of book learning, but of experiences. That is where true learning is. Take risks, have courage, be willing to make sacrifices, be nice to people and work really hard–you’ll be amazed at what happens. And you’ll get more fulfillment out of life.

    Go out out and create the stories for yourself so that you can look back 10 years from now and be grateful for what tech gave you–preparation for what you will become.

    Go out and create your own stories. Good luck and embrace your freedom.

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