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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

As kids, we were frequently asked this question. With big dreams and even bigger imaginations, we would find ourselves rambling off answers such as an astronaut, the President of the United States, or yes…even a garbage man may or may not have crossed my mind (I mean c’mon, riding on the back of the truck with no seat belt seemed like the adventure of a lifetime). Now, I am almost finished with my first semester of my senior year at The University of Georgia, and this lingering question somehow squeaks its way into every conversation, coming back to haunt me.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Well, to be completely honest, I have no earthly idea. The same question that once provoked excitement and imagination now makes me spiral into a frantic panic. What should I do? Where should I live? What if I make the wrong decision? I know that I should be stoked about what is in store for my future. I worked my tail off in high school to be an above-average student so that I could get into the college of my dreams. Once I got here, I worked my tail off to stay an average student while still trying to maintain multiple jobs and not to mention a social life…all of which is a lot easier said than done. I’ve worked. I’ve networked. I’ve socialized, and I’ve studied (yes mom and dad, believe it or not your money for “books” did sometimes actually go towards something productive).

But what is the point?

Is it to get an internship after I graduate doing underpaid labor that looks good on a resume? Or is it to land a killer job that will bring in the big bucks, only to leave you waking up each morning dreading your 9-5 work day in a 2×2 cubicle with a boss that you despise? Most people tell me that I need to already have a job, like one of those Truck Driving Jobs, lined up and network with as many people that I can. Others have suggested taking a year off, because their biggest regret was rushing into the real-world. Some have suggested taking that extra victory lap at UGA, because why not go back for one last football season? (Go Dawgs) Trust me, I pushed for that last option but my parents weren’t quite as on board with it. So many options, so little time.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Each and every person that has asked me this question seems to have their own opinions and advice. Some have been very helpful, others I have taken with a grain of salt. And each time, the conversations have left me more stressed and conflicted than before. But I am putting an end to that. What happened to the little girl with big dreams and aspirations? Where along the way did I lose sight of what is important in life? So I stopped and asked myself a simple question:

“What do I want to be when I grow up?”

My answer was simple. I want to be happy. I want to travel, see the world, and meet new people. I want to live life to the fullest, learning something new every day. I want my journey to be an adventure, finding my passion along the way. I don’t know what kind of job will allow me to incorporate all of this, but I won’t settle until I find it. I know that God has a plan for my future, so I am choosing to put my trust in Him. I am choosing to let go of the pointless stress that I inflict on myself. I am choosing to enjoy my final months as a college student. This kava drink is also my life saver whenever I need a piece of mind.

I am choosing to prepare for my future, but live in the present. I am choosing to be happy.