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Senior Column: Learn to find joy in the mundane

Sara Beth Bolin, contributing writer

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I’m not good at making decisions.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be everything I could possibly imagine. I wanted to be a marine biologist, an actress, a landscape architect, an artist, a surgeon, the president. Everything sounded like my ultimate dream, like what the universe had destined for me to do.

When I got to college, I thought the decision of what I would do with my life would be made for me almost immediately. I thought I would walk into a building and a choir would sing, my face glowing with the epiphany of what I was to do for the rest of my life. That never happened.

Throughout my freshman year, I changed my major more times than I’d like to admit, sure that each time was for good. Nothing stuck. I took class after class, searching for my purpose. And while it used to really bother me that I didn’t had a divine revelation about my future, I’m learning to be OK with it.

So often, we’re pressured into being the absolute best that we can be in whatever we choose to do. We’re told to reach for the stars and accept nothing less. And that’s what I told myself for the first three and a half years of my undergraduate career — that I had to do the best, to be the best and know exactly what I was doing every step of the way. For someone who’s not great with decisions, but also doesn’t ever want to fail, planning out everything I’ll ever do was something that was incredibly daunting.

But here’s the thing — this kind of mentality isn’t great for everyone. Some people thrive trying to be better than everyone else and ultimately achieve their career goals. Over the past three months, I’ve discovered that I’m not one of those people, and that’s perfectly fine.

I’ve become content in the mundane: in morning brunch dates, in afternoons writing on the quad, in midnight conversations filled with belly-aching laughter. These moments aren’t mapped out in some grand five-year plan, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth it. When we learn to find joy in the things that aren’t part of our ultimate destiny, maybe, just maybe, we can relieve the pressure of finding our paths immediately after we turn our tassels.

Your plan may happen exactly as you want it to. It may be derailed and go in a direction you never expected. Or you may be like me and have no plan. Whatever your course, take some time to enjoy where you are now.

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Senior Column: Learn to find joy in the mundane