Try thinking towards your future

Liz Stephens, Columnist

I will be the first person to admit that I cannot wait until spring break gets here. Some students have fun beach vacations, but I on the other hand will be going to my safe haven: the South. 

This week I got Starbucks with a friend who I grew up with. Conlon just so happened to be one of the select few of us from Charleston High School who decided to be smart, using our resources and choosing to go to Eastern.  

Conlon is a communication studies major, so he is very good at reading body language and being able to tell if you are unknowingly second-guessing yourself. 

The two of us discussed over coffee how I will be flying into Dallas the first day of Spring Break so I can interview for a law internship I have lined up for the summer.  

I told him I was questioning if this semester would ruin my chances of getting into law school because of how “unmotivated” I am, which is resulting in poor grades. 

Conlon looked at me and laughed.

“You can’t achieve success without being happy,” he said. “Most people think once you become successful then you will be happy, but it’s the other way around.”  

Conlon proceeded to also explain a theory of how we choose what to do with our lives based on how we want others to see us relating to success.  

I think I looked at Conlon like a deer in headlights, because that was the answer to the issue I’ve had all semester. Not only have I let people try to sway me from the career path I’ve decided to pursue and let them give me crappy statistics, saying “You know most lawyers don’t practice law,” but I also let the people around me decide what I wanted to do. 

Most students will be spending their Spring Break with family, partying or going back home to work, but I’ve decided to use mine to think. I plan on boarding my American Airlines flight and sitting there with a notebook and a pen and really mapping out a career plan and making clear and precise goals of how to get there. 

I always call the South my safe haven because it’s where I think the clearest and feel at home. I want to use my week off from school to really marinate in ideas of what I want to do career-wise, while not letting the influence of advisers tell me what they would or wouldn’t do.  

The biggest stress for me personally as a student is the ever-so-present and looming theory of what I want to do as a career. I’ve realized that jobs are easy, but careers aren’t.  

Many students will realize they are in the same boat as me, selling themselves short on something so simple as thinking they are dreaming too big when it comes to their careers. 

I think it’s important to not let this outside influence dictate how we pick our careers, schedules and even extracurricular activities based on how “successful” we think people will see us when doing them.