Critical Questions

I think something about being a senior has made me nostalgic. I have spent much of this semester reflecting on my career as a student at Appalachian State. As I think back on my course of study, part of me wonders if I took the right path. I have enjoyed the classes I have taken in political science, the versatility provided by global studies, and the value of knowing Spanish is not really contested. However, was this right? Should I have pursued economics or biology or teaching, an academic track that seems to have a more precise path laid out in front of it? I have concluded that one's academic path doesn’t define one's chosen career. Some of the most successful people in the world didn’t even attend college, much less have this rather obsolete debate about their choice of study. I have enjoyed my classes immensely, felt challenged, and been able to learn about things that I found fascinating--what more could I have asked for?

Senior year has produced an interesting dichotomy in which my nostalgia has been matched by looking to the future and wondering what’s next. This fear of having chosen the right major has been coupled with questions about what will I do next. This is the inescapable question that has come up for the past two years... With graduation fast approaching, not only the frequency, but the intensity of this question has increased. I came into this year with a resounding commitment to go abroad, and there is still a high possibility that is where I will end up. I found a community development program in Nepal and an English-teaching program in Chile that I am drawn to. There are also domestic programs that I am beginning to look at. There is a lobbying fellowship with an NGO that works on behalf of refugees and immigrants. There are other jobs with NGOs in the DC area that I am also looking at. While I have not found out exactly what I will be doing next, I feel confident in that my next step will be full of novel experiences.

In the end, I hope to spend this last semester shedding these habits of meditating on the past and future, forcing myself to focus on the present. I am about to enter my last semester of college, a time that many people claim is the “best time of your life.” I hope to spend this semester delving into my thesis, enjoying my classes, and spending time surrounded by my friends.

Written by: Emma Labovitz

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Published: May 9, 2018 12:12pm