• Whitney

5 Year Plan: A Reality Check

“What do you want to be when you grow up? Will you be an astronaut, a fireman, a teacher, or even a doctor? Where will you go to school? Roll Tide or War Eagle?”

These are the questions that begin in preschool and never truly end.

We encourage young kids to dream. We lead them to believe they can be anything. Every mom is promising their child that they can be the President of the United States, that they can fly a rocket ship to the moon, or that they can become the next American Idol. Society builds their confidence one brick at a time and later take a sledge hammer to the structure we helped create, breaking down what we initially built up.

You see, in middle school career paths change. Students begin to explore salaries vs cost of living and have a “reality check”. Those who once wanted to be artists now feel pressured to be engineers. The little girl who wanted to open her own fashion studio now sees business administration as a safer alternative. The writer? He will be an english teacher.

By high school, students are expected to have each and every detail of their life mapped out. They have a 3 year, 5 year, or maybe even a 10 year plan.

Where will I go to school? What will I major in? Who will I marry? Do I want kids? How many? What kind of car will I drive?

Students have answers. As a senior in high school, I had an answer that I was absolutely confident in to each and every one of those questions. As a junior in college, I am here to tell you that plans change.

Plans change, and that is okay.

Yes, it is important to have plans in order to make and meet goals. Short-term plans are extremely important, but it is important to be flexible when it comes to planning out an entire future.

It’s okay to change your major to a field that you believe better fits you. It’s okay to break up with the person you once thought you would marry. It’s okay to want 12 kids, and it’s okay to want a dog instead. Let’s be honest: I have no clue what kind of car I will drive in the future, but I still have the same idea for that one. (Hello white Jeep Wrangler.)

Change is a direct reflection of growth.

Not everyone will have a dramatic Saul to Paul type change, but everyone will change. Our paths of life shape us in various ways. Look at who you surround yourself with, they are a direct reflection of either who you are or who you will become. I pray you surround yourself with uplifting people; people who you want to become a mirror image of. I pray you surround yourself with Christ-like individuals and that you all experience growth together.

If you would have asked me where I would be this very moment as a senior in high school, I would have answered with something like this: “I’ll be a senior at the University of North Alabama. I’ll be engaged. Graduating with a degree in accounting in May, getting married in the summer, and going to law school.”

I’m so grateful that I get to say that one of those still remains as part of the “5 year plan,” and that’s how God had written it all along.

I am a junior at Mississippi State University. I am going to graduate May 2020 with a degree in communications, concentration in Public Relations, and a minor in Business Administration. I am planning to attend law school, and I am FAR from being engaged.

Dear younger me, You’ve never been happier.

I hope that each of you experience growth and find your passion within whatever brings you the most joy.

Do not let anyone take a sledge hammer to your dreams: build an empire with the bricks they first hand to you and later throw at you. Learn to rebuild when things don’t go as planned, but never give up until you reach your fullest potential.

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