As a high schooler, I never really felt like I had life goals. I knew what was expected of me, and I planned to do those things (graduate high school, go to college, etc) rather than really set goals for myself. These things were things I wanted to do, but they never really felt like things I chose to do.
Now that I am no longer freshly out of high school (eek!) and getting ready to graduate college (double eek!!) I have been thinking a lot about personal goals and motivations to achieve said goals. Why am I doing this? Post high school, I floundered a lot. Three years, three schools, umpteen majors and multiple failed classes. I had no goal, no end point, and no good reason to be there, other than, “why not?” There was nothing else pressing that I needed to be doing with my life.
I’ve since taken a break from school and now have been back since the summer of 2011. I’ve been trying to decipher what changed in me – I knew what I wanted after about a semester or two back at school. I want a degree. I want to do well in school, not just *not fail*, but succeed. I am still not a model student, but I have gotten better grades in the last two years than I have since 9th or 10th grade.
Now that I am closer to graduating than I ever have been, I’ve found myself thinking, “what next?” What is next in my life? This has had me thinking a lot about goals. Why do we set the goals that we do for ourselves? What motivates these goals?
Here is what I know for myself (I love these kind of statements, probably because they remind me of pro and con lists )
Currently my goals consist of the following:
- Graduate with a Bachelor’s degree! (well on my way for this one!!! only two classes left after this semester)
- Regain my self esteem (this one has been surprisingly easy so far – mostly through caring more about my appearance and controlling my posture and body language)
- Continue on my journey of self betterment (the first part of this is listed above, but more on that later..)
- Figure out what I am doing after my undergrad degree (yes, the way I phrased that makes it sound like I am planning on grad school..I need to find my marbles because I think I might have lost them!)
My motivation for my bachelor’s degree is this: I know that my quality of life will be improved by earning this degree. I will have better job opportunities, more skills, and generally having a degree will be an all around plus for my life, in many areas. It will also give me a sense of accomplishment.
My journey of self betterment has come from a realization that I am in control of my life – as I said above, for many years I floundered and did what I felt others (my parents) wanted me to do. You’d think I would realize that I am in control of myself long before 25, but only lately have I realized that happiness and contentment is completely under my control (well, I realized this a long time ago, but only recently have I felt able to harness this control).
Anyways. I am starting to ramble and lose my train of thought..Someday I will plan out blog posts like this ahead of time so my thoughts are a bit more concrete. A lot of this introspection lately has been spurred by my renewing my relationship with an old friend, who introduced me to this youtube video, which is a clip from a commencement speed by David Foster Wallace.. If you have 10 minutes, watch it!