Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Plan for Life

Ask yourself a question. Do you know what you want to do for the rest of your life? Do you have a plan? Do you have the shadow of a plan? Is it on the tip of your tongue? Do you have a dream job, a dream career? Is it realistic? Or maybe it isn’t a job. Maybe your dream is to have a family, to be a stay-at-home mom or dad. Just make sure you have a dream, because if you don’t, then what’s the point?

I’m in college right now, at UC Santa Barbara. I love it here. I love my major. I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. Well, I have an idea of what I want to do. The specifics haven’t been worked out quite yet. I want to be a psychologist or a therapist. I know I want to sit down privately with someone and improve his or her life in any way I can. I want to give people peace of mind, self-understanding, and life management skills. I want to be on top of the research in my field and help apply it to people’s clinical mental problems and life issues. I know what I want to do. I know who I want to help. I want to help couples with marital problems, dysfunctional families, people suffering from eating disorders, college students acclimating to being on their own, grieving men, women and children who have lost family, friends, and close partners. These problems are close to my heart. I am a child of divorce. These days, that’s not such a rare thing. Almost 50% of marriages end in divorce. I have also been struggling with serious body issues. I have lost loved ones. I have friends who have lost loved ones so close to them that it’s like a part of them has died.

Psychology Tangent: William James, a 19th century psychologist, philosopher, physicist, etc, once said that we have as many social selves as we have people with whom we interact. We act differently with our parents than we do with our friends, or at the doctor’s office, or in a lecture hall. The point is that those people with whom you are very close actually become part of who you are and if they leave your life or this life, part of you feels like it’s gone. It’s interesting…

So I know what I want to do. My friend Marie also knows what she wants to do. Marie wants to be and has always wanted to be a teacher. She used to want to be a math teacher and switched to wanting to be an English teacher at the end of high school. She is an English major and plans on getting her teaching credentials after undergrad. My other friend here, Kat, has changed her major multiple times, starting with the School of Explorers as Anthony likes to call it, or it’s more widely accepted term Undeclared. She wanted to be a translator and learn a bunch of languages. Then she wanted to be a doctor and switched to Biology. Then it was Philosophy. Now it’s Environmental Studies. I personally think that this choice suits her much better than the others. She’s very environmentally active and wants to work for the Peace Corps after college. I truly hope she sticks with this choice and is happy with it. On the other side of things, my good friend Gemma is (or was the last time we talked) entirely lost. She wanted to be a doctor and now… well I don’t know. It’s only our second year of college. For those of you who are stressing about your major, it’s not time to worry. I’d say keep up whatever you’re doing, even if it’s hard right now, and look to the future. You’re grade in Chemistry does not define your path; you define it. If you have a plan and fire in your hearts, you’ll get there.
I’m very excited to be on my path. I’m on track. I’ve passed many mile markers. I did well in high school and got into college. I’ve been doing well in college, quickly finishing each requirement for my degree. I even added a sociology major and French minor to the mix! Anthony and I are talking seriously about our future, about him being in the Navy and how we can work with each other around our separate dreams. Thank goodness our dreams converge on each other. I’m excited to start the next phase of my life with him. I can’t believe I only have two more years of college! The first half went by so fast… 

1 comment: