June 6, 2007

Countdown to Real Life

Print More

You were at the top of your class in high school and you are working your way through your college courses. As your junior year draws to a close, you are cruising, happy to have passed your finals and then wham, you hit what could be your last summer break. Staring you in the face is a huge question: What are you going to do for the rest of your life? Most of us have repeatedly heard that we are the best and that the world is at our fingertips, but we are surprised when it’s our turn to jump in.

After high school, undergraduate study buys us some time to figure out what we should do with ourselves for the next 50 years. Unfortunately, there is no post-undergraduate buffer zone. As our undergraduate careers wind down, we realize how little we know about the “real world.” Suddenly we have to decide between graduate school, a full time job, or service opportunities like the Peace Corps. Is that long-term relationship with the girlfriend or boyfriend something we want to continue? And what’s all this about investing and retirement savings?

The countdown to blast-off is ticking; I wish I had noticed it sooner.