Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

Do you ever wonder where people will be in 5 or 10 years? Like yourself, your family, or your friends?

This week is a very bittersweet time for me. As I finish up my junior year in college, my first round of friends are starting to walk across the stage. This includes friends from both high school and college.

In high school, I was the young one in my group of friends — they were all a year older than me. Watching them graduate and leave me behind for a year was tough. And then the next year it was my turn to step into the unknown. And of course I wondered where the hell we would all be four years from then, but I never thought the day would actually come.

The trials and tribulations of the past four years have been a tumultuous road. I’ve watch my friends fail and succeed. Some of us have lost touch, others have stayed close. I’ve been there for the ones who have hit rock bottom, and I’ve watched them rise up again. Some have moved away, yet some haven’t left the small town we grew up in. Out of my core group of friends from high school, there are 3 of us on path to graduate on time — 2 this year and myself next year.

But now that I have forged a new group of friends and the first half are taking the jump into the real world, I can’t help but wonder what the next 5 years have in store. I hope there will be more success than failure and more smiles then tears. I wish to God that all of my wonderful friends achieve all their goals. I hope I never lose touch with the people that have entered my life throughout the last three years.

So here are some of my goals:

  • Set aside time each week to talk to the ones that have left. One of my best friends from high school now lives in Virginia, and the other one is planning to move to Georgia, so communication is key.
  • Visit the ones that are close by. Quite a few of my friends are moving to Houston after graduation. There’s no reason a happy hour can’t be in order when I’m in town visiting my parents!
  • And of course keep the friendships I already have just as strong throughout the last year, and what will be the best year, of my college career.

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If you do not follow @Jenny_Blake on twitter, please do. I ran across her website LifeAfterCollege.org and immediately fell in love with her style of writing and the types of advice she gives. It is practical, down to earth, and exactly what someone like me needs to see. With only a year left in college, I am starting to wonder about what comes next and how I am supposed to handle it. Her website holds some of those answers.

So when I found out she wrote a book, of course I had to buy it! And when I found it for sale on Amazon for a little over $8, it was a no brainer. Since I received it earlier this week, I have taken a little bit of time before I go to bed every night to read a little bit, do the exercises, and reflect on myself and what I want out of life.

I am sixty pages in (out of almost 300!), and I’ve already thought deeper and harder about my goals and future than I ever have. But there was one exercise that really stood out to me that I feel the need to share. It’s something that I’ve never taken time to think that deeply about.

My values

Have you ever had to really think about your values, list them out, and then rank them by importance? Probably not. It’s not an easy thing to do. It took me a few days to complete the exercise, which consists of listing 20 top values, taking it down to 10, and then ranking your top 5. Here are what I came up with and why:

  1. Accomplishment: I’ve always been someone who thrived off accomplishment. In a way, it’s what keeps me smiling and what makes my world go round. In no way do I mean this in a narcissistic way. Every action we perform has a purpose, and because of that, something can happen as a result of every effort we put forth. Accomplishments are the positive results of our efforts. When we don’t accomplish anything, that’s wasted time and energy, and we know that we need to put our efforts somewhere else.
  2. Family: I think this one’s easy. My family is my everything, and because of that I know that even if I lose everything, they will still be there for me no matter what. My mom will always be my confidant, my sisters my best friends, and my dad my rock.
  3. Passion: What is life if you live it without passion? The passion we exert each and every day is what keeps us breathing. It’s what drives our motivations. It forms our goals. Without passion, life would be dull. There would be no excitement. There would be no real reason to live fully.
  4. Hard Work: Nothing is possible without hard work. I thrive off challenges, and I take pride in the hard work I put forth to accomplish my goals. I work hard at school, at work, at my internship. I don’t see the point of doing something if you’re just going to half-ass it. Either work hard, or don’t work at all.
  5. Fun: I am a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine, and spontaneity is a necessity. No matter where I go in life or who I am with, I will be having fun. I’ll tell a dumb joke or I’ll dance on a bar with my best friends around me or I’ll laugh so loudly that everyone in the room stares. But I’ll do it and I’ll love it and I’ll be feeling that certain feeling that I get when I’m having such a great time there’s no where else I’d rather be.

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