Wants vs. Reality

by Eric Mason

I want to live near a coast. I want to publish a novel. I want to get my MBA within the next eight years. I want to maintain as many quality relationships with my college friends that I can. I want to travel back to Europe.

None of this can happen today.

I cannot move until graduation next May. Editing a novel is strenuous. Tackling another Master’s is not going to happen with a break from school and money saved. Friendships across the country require diligence, and some, unfortunately, fall by the wayside. Europe requires money, and that is something a young grad student does not have.

During some down time that I have had will in Illinois, I find myself in an odd predicament. Illinois is not high on my dream living arrangements. I moved away to avoid the stagnation that haunts so many. Small towns are full of tradition, but it is just a mask for stagnation at times. Longing for the “good ole days” does not propel one forward.

Goals take time. We must remember our roots and simultaneously move towards the future. Life is long. Each day is up to us to find happiness. For those of us beginning our careers or in graduate school, the future is scary. My next location could be anywhere from Seattle to Boston. That is outside my control. Right now, I must focus on the present. Class, work, research, getting involved in Las Vegas and exploring everything this city offers, that is what matters. The future will come in due time. Until then, I just have to enjoy life. Worrying saps joy from today and may hinder future happiness. Grad school is a temporary burden that I will not fully appreciate for years. It took a visit to Bradley University, my undergraduate school, yesterday to fully appreciate the memories, lessons, and experiences I had there. Life is full of transitions. These are not bad by any means. We mature and grow up, and these transitions mold our identities. Do not skip one.

Life is about seizing what is in front of you. Own what you do, regardless of what it is. 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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