Looking forward

By EmiPeters

I would like to begin this column with a passage from “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath that beautifully illustrates the world of possibilities in store after I complete this chapter of my life:

From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.

This passage is a perfect example of where I am in my life right now, at the edge of the unknown, where anything is possible and the world is mine for the taking. Even though I am graduating with a degree in journalism, I don’t feel obligated to pursue a career in the field. If anything, by obtaining this degree, I have proved to myself that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

The minute I stepped foot on Columbia’s campus for student orientation, I knew this was the school for me. Everything about Columbia appealed to me, from the bold-colored walls to the funky, student-made art hanging on them.  And the students who attend Columbia were certainly not like me. The clothes, piercings and tattoos were elements I didn’t normally see in my sheltered hometown of Auburn, Ala. But those differences were some of the things that attracted me to this college.

I left my hometown in hopes of finding something new—to have new experiences and to meet new people. And what I found was a world full of possibilities. At this college I found a number of creative, engaging individuals who inspired and encouraged me to let the world know what it is I have to offer, and I feel I have the potential to offer a lot.

From day one, I’ve seen Columbia’s motto painted on every building and printed on every business card and letterhead: Create Change. It’s probably not the most profound motto, but I liked the sound of it. I liked the idea of how it could apply to me. It got me to think, “What kind of change can I create?” Or more importantly, “What kind of change will I create?” While I’m not entirely sure what the future has in store for me, I do know I’m ready to get out into the world, make some big jumps and not be afraid to break some bones in the process.

I know as college students, we can become jaded toward our selected career paths, and the future can start to look bleak. But as I get closer to crossing the stage on graduation day, I find myself becoming more hopeful. Yeah, the economy may be in the hole and I probably won’t find a job right away, but I know I will always have that piece of paper that reminds me of how determined I was to not give up, and I will have the knowledge to back it up. I feel with the solid education I’ve acquired over the past four years, I have the courage to do whatever my heart desires.

At this point in my life I feel anything is possible, and I want to thank all of the wonderfully dedicated professors I’ve had the chance to encounter throughout my college career, as well as my loving family and friends. Without their guidance and encouragement, I would not have realized my full potential.