Peter Pan Isn’t My Role Model

BY MEGHAN MONAHAN

I do not want to grow up. There, I said what every single graduating senior has been silently fretting about for the last year. I wish that I could stay in college forever and have the safety net of a community at SNC with the added benefit of having the freedom to make my own choices.

However, in less than a month (not that I have been counting) I, and every other graduating senior, will walk across that stage and be handed a piece of paper. And then we will all be thrown to the metaphorical sharks.

The point is, I am scared witless about the next stage of my life. When we graduated high school, we were all filled with excitement because we knew that the next phase in our life, college, was going to be fun, challenging and force us out of our comfort zone. There was no way that we could have known the people we would be in four years, but we knew what was up next and it was comforting.

After this graduation, there is no next step. We will all become adults and have to manage to find our way in this big scary world in our own way. Once again, I’m going to voice what every graduating senior is thinking: that is terrifying.

I will be going off to law school in the fall, but I still have no idea what the future will bring for me. I do not know where my first job will be or when/where I will buy my first house or even if I am taking the right path.

That’s the thing, from here on out there are no right answers. If you would have asked me 11 years ago (as a child of 11) where I would be in 10 years, I would have told you that I would be in college. If you were to ask me the same question now, at almost twenty-two years old, I would have no way of answering that. Because even if I did have a clear cut, 10-point plan for where I wanted to be at 32 (which I do not), the chances of everything working out the way I want it to are almost nil.

There is the old saying that if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans. We cannot tell the future, and no matter how much we work and plan, the future takes us where it wants us to go. This is a truth that is uncertain, scary and fantastic.

I never imagined that I would even end up at St. Norbert, but here I am about to get my Bachelor of Arts from this wonderful little liberal arts school. I am so glad that my future did not work out the way that I planned it when I was 18.

I have no idea where I will be or the kind of person that I will be a year from now, let alone five years from now, and I am alright with that. The biggest challenge about growing up is accepting that our lives seldom turn out the way we plan them.

We will experience good times, bad times and do things that we will be proud of and things that we will regret. But we will be adults, and our futures will have a way of unfolding before us whether we like it or not. So we might as well embrace it.

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