This summer, I had the pleasure of meeting some new people in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. I met them through a childhood friend of mine, and actually spent quite a bit of time with them. The significance of meeting them isn’t really that exciting, except that all but two of them were out of school and working full time, and they were just a year or two older than I was.
I also worked full time in an office, but for me, it was just a summer job. I knew that the middle of August I would be done with this job and heading back to university to complete my last year of college.
Meeting these people really gave me a different perspective on life. One of the guys I met works in construction, and the other is close to finishing his training to be an air traffic controller, which is super cool. My childhood friend went to a hair stylist school, and she graduated from there over a year ago, and has been working in a hair salon basically since she graduated.
These are just a few of the small group, but it really made me think about my own life. A couple of them were finishing up their degrees, like I am, but the rest of them were done with classes, done with school, and into the workforce. I was jealous, in a way, because while their careers may change in the future, right now they are in jobs they actually went to school for, and will have these jobs for the foreseeable future.
All I wanted was to have what they have. They didn’t have to study for exams, weren’t required to read, didn’t have to write papers (sorry professors, but who really enjoys that?) and once they were off work, they didn’t have to think about it once they got home.
Being around them made me realize how much I want that, and how ready I am to be an adult, or almost ready, anyways. On one hand, I cannot wait to finish my degree and go out and start making my living, doing what I want to do. On the other hand, school and university was actually brought up when I was talking to a couple of them.
Two of the people actually told me that they wished they were in my position and able to keep going to school and to learn. That threw me for a loop, because I was so focused on how badly I wanted to be done with school, that I almost didn’t consider what it was like to work day in and day out.
Work and school are definitely complicated concepts. One or the other may seem much more appealing to different people, and even when you’re in different moods. When you’re starting out university, all you have on mind is just the next few years ahead. Of course, you have to focus on what comes after, but the majority of your focus is on completing your degree and doing the best you can in your classes.
As you near the end of your fourth or fifth year, the “future” and “real life” are much closer than before. It’s scary, but in the end, I, personally, am excited to see what the future has in store for me.
Kendra Hinton is an English major at SDSU and can be reached at [email protected]