Not Enough Wasted Time

When I had too much time on the plane ride yesterday, caught between reading Monocle, doodling ugly drawings in my journal, and snacking on 100 calorie Oreo bits, I was contemplating this notion of expectation--why that we feel expected to do xyz. Especially after hanging out with newly graduated folks fresh out of college, the big question becomes: What now? What are they going to do now?

We are expected to figure out our lives after college and have a justification for our choices. Struggling to tackle this quarter-life crisis that has become too uncomfortably strange and familiar. I would have been the same way last year or even several months ago, but now I'm thinking twice. I don't want to be caught up in this constant cycle of expectation and fulfillment because it seems I'm searching for the wrong answers to the wrong questions. It's hard to break away from this path: the sooner we find job security, the sooner we have financial and social safety and comfort.

But what about exploration? The room for mistakes? If life's work should be about passion, I don't know if anyone can figure that out while juggling academics + etc. It's unfair that we are punished for not knowing. Maybe this is a bigger problem for tense people like myself, but I think all college students understand my concern more or less. The environment that produces this stress, the environment that requires internships every summer, a high GPA, stellar list of extracurriculars... what is it all for? I made the mistake once in high school, and overachieving isn't answering the bigger questions of life. I hate it but reluctantly oblige to it nonetheless.

I should be expected to enjoy summers and to take a breather. I really hope summer 2009 is that and more. I'm back home now, and I feel good. I want to waste time doing teenager things. Doing mundane things. Redecorating my room. Going to tons of concerts. Retail therapy. Coffee with friends. Catching up on tv series. Doing nothing--and loving it.

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