Live Today But Have A View of Your Future

Written by: | Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

This post is from Kate Forte, a senior at AZ State University, majoring in Tourism Development Management.

It was a big deal when my parents allowed me to go to school at Arizona State from Massachusetts.  Not only was it 3,000 miles from home, but this school had a reputation that scared my parents to death (you know – party school – but that wasn’t why I chose it). Knowing they raised a responsible, hardworking daughter, they helped me pack my bags and said a little prayer as they watched me head off to start a new chapter of my life.

The first year of school was admittedly challenging. I was so excited to be where I was, but had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I mean what 18 year old really has that much of a grip on their future? I know we should know but it can take time to decide what is right for each of us and what belongs in our future. So I switched majors as I narrowed down what I wanted to study – something that fit both my abilities and passions. Because I kept looking and knew what kind of work and life I wanted, I applied for full time jobs with classes at night to gain the experience I needed for the career I wanted.  After countless internships and jobs within my field, I was able to relax knowing that I was well prepared to start the real world as graduation approached.

This taught me a valuable lesson: we need to learn to live in the present but with a view of the future. This, to me, very much means taking in everything I can today, right now, but thinking about how today will guide me to where I want my future to be. It could be a job – or a relationship – or even deciding where to live. I have to be strategic as I approach my decisions. After all, this is my life and I am responsible for it. I am also responsible to create my own success and my own happiness. So I have to look to the future – to be clear about what I want – to get ready for it. I have to use today to prepare for that future. I have to use my college career wisely to be sure I end up with what I want. College isn’t cheap. Today’s courses have to get me ready for what I want when I graduate. I have to be intentional. I have to be clear about it.

Some like to say that they love to live in the moment, in the present. Great. Me too. But I am also aware  that the decisions I make in this moment have to guide me in the direction that I want for my future. I am the only one who can do this for me. I can get input from others but this is my work to do. And I am feeling like I did some good work here and am ready to be out in the world.

So, some life advice? Each day, choose wisely. Listen to your own voice. Own your own path. Stay clear on what you want in your future and ensure that what you do today is heading you in the right direction – for you.

What is one thing you can do today that will help you get the future you wish to see?

NOTE: We welcome posts from high school and college students who want to share their personal road to greatness – the ups and the downs – and any lessons learned. Send your contributions to Limit 500 words.

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