Stay optimistic about the future

Tom O'Connor, Columnist

The contours of any one person’s highs and lows do not adhere to an easy to follow course of development, nor will they ever be predictable.

For juniors and seniors in college, it can be quite easy to be pessimistic about future endeavors, feeling as though you have already reached that proverbial ceiling. After all, so much of what is said and written about the university setting has created the impression that it is a utopian, transcendent four years, and, for most students, it turns out to be that way.

It is also a moment of reckoning. A locality where students become more educated about themselves and the world.

While college can be, of course, a high point in an individual’s growth, it does not mean that fun times will come to an impasse once a student walks across the stage.

When reflecting on my own ambitions, I feel as if I have only a nebulous idea of where the tides of the future will take me.

Countless college students sink into a pattern of catastrophizing, only to make dire proclamations.

Students might say, “I may have succeeded in college, but there is no way anyone will hire me.”

Or, perhaps, students could ask themselves, “College was fun, how can anything be more enjoyable than college?”

But, contrary to what college students might believe, there are opportunities beyond what one can conceive in the present.

Many of these culminations of prosperity become actualized unexpectedly.

Just look at athletes.

When professional athletes entered the college ranks, they reached a target that, for most of them, had been dreamt about ever since youth.

As freshman, they likely thought a climax had been fulfilled, except it was, in reality, just the beginning.

A good many collegiate athlete prodigies will not be at the peak of their powers for another 10 years, coinciding with the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.   

Long distance runners, hockey players and sprinters, for example, do not reach their capstones until their late 20s, as per data from

To be certain, there are athletes out there today who will one day receive an invitation to participate in an arena of worldwide excellence, yet have no idea that they will travel to Los Angeles to participate in a California gold rush.

No one has the prescience to know what the years ahead might entail. Students who are on the cusp of graduation must celebrate a boundless sense of optimism, and, all the same, appreciate the months they have remaining.

Tom O’Connor is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].