I’ve always thought that after I graduated college, I would have my life completely figured out. I’d follow the classic plan laid out by the ‘successful’ people that came before me: graduate high school, go to college, get a corporate job, get married by 25, and have two kids by 30. My time at DePauw that is quickly coming to an end has taught me that it doesn’t have to be that way.
For me, I started at DePauw as an economics major because I thought that was what would make my parents the most proud. Due to the liberal arts university requirements, though, I found myself in Chris White’s Intro to Creative Writing class during my first semester. As I began to write, I found freedom in putting the feelings I didn’t know lived deep within myself into words. I discovered that the personal identity transformation I have undertaken because of my education meant much more to me than the academic journey I have gone on, even though the two coincide.
I learned that I can write my own path for the entirety of my life and stop myself from falling in line. I ultimately changed my major halfway through my sophomore year because I found that if I am making major life decisions because I care about the perception of those around me, I will never be rich internally. The things that I thought I was supposed to care about have completely shifted for me. All that matters now is love.
The things that I once thought were so serious, I can now laugh upon. I have opened my eyes to the fact that the universe is within me. I manifest the reality in front of me based upon my mindset, which I found once I was sparked to live thoroughly through truth as I explored my mind while writing.
Another one of the biggest realizations that I’ve had over the past few years is that there is such an emphasis put on accomplishment that experience is completely shoved aside. There is no such thing as a “life’s purpose” because the point of life is to be comfortable just being. The past and the future are all thoughts, and there is not a single thing that matters besides the present moment. There is no opinion upon my life that matters besides the one that lives inside of my body.
Through my experience forming deep friendships and connections with individuals on this campus, I have discovered that wealth is nothing of monetary value. It is something deeply internal that makes one rich, something that one can only find by turning inward. I am rich because I am in the present. I am rich because I know that everything, ultimately, is always out of a place of love. I am rich because I am kind, and I am rich because I am present.
My education has transformed my personal identity into one that moves with the natural flow of life. If you don’t have it all figured out, there is no need to worry. I have no plans for post-graduation, and I feel free. We always figure it out.