Welcome back to all of us lucky enough to have gotten a week’s respite from dorm life. And, if your break was anything like mine, I’m sure you’re glad to be free of the perpetual nightmare that was the excessive judgement of our family members. Sure, they don’t mean any harm, but that doesn’t mean Uncle Carl’s comparisons about his girlfriend’s daughter’s cousin, who’s pulling A’s in Harvard, aren’t going to sting a little.  

Even with a full course load and future plans for med school, it took 20 minutes of questioning before I was reduced to hiding out in the bathroom – just to escape the scrutiny over the practicality of my life plans, and how they add up to those around me.  

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but I have no idea how practical my future plans are. By the time I graduate, somebody may find the end all cure of every neurological disease and my degree as a neuroscientist will be altogether pointless. Maybe I’ll graduate and immediately be employed by a research university with unlimited funding. Or maybe, I’ll decide halfway through junior year that I’d rather write espionage novels for a living. As a freshman, with years upon years of schooling ahead of me, I shouldn’t have to have a perfected life plan paired with a powerpoint presentation ready for every family gathering.

Last year I was drilled with questions like what major am I declaring, where am I applying, am I taking the ACTs one more time JUST to see, etc, etc. This is all madness, and I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be at least 30 before I start losing hair and developing ulcers. While I can’t change their intrusiveness, I can change the way I respond.

I’m still new to this whole college thing. However, I’ve been here long enough to know that some of the brightest around here have no more clue than you or I of what they’re doing tomorrow, let alone 10 years from now.

So let’s do all of ourselves a favor and take each interrogation with a grain of salt.  Go to class, study hard, and try everything and anything that is even remotely interesting to you, because you don’t know where it may take you. The rest will follow. In the meantime, I’ve included a picture of my dogs enjoying their thanksgiving feast.

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