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Life Planning?

May 18, 2011

So one of the perks of my job as an office assistant for a department at Brenau is that there’s an 80% percent chance I’ll be answering phones.  And it’s summertime, so that means calls can be (and most of the time are) sluggish.  And that leads to a whole lot of unsupervised computer time.  Now, I know what you’re all thinking: Facebook.  But how wrong you are!  Instead, I make what I like to call life plans–forever changing and ever-so idealistic visions for my future.

Let’s take yesterday, for example.  In the morning, I worked the switchboard.  Between transferring calls to Financial Aid and Admissions, giving directions, and attempting to pick out names over the loud music playing on the other end of the line, I made budgets.  I whipped up an excel spreadsheet, calculated my approximate earnings for every month between now and December, and clicked in my spending goals.

Then in the afternoon, I moved over to the admissions office to provide my excellent miscellaneous services.  The one woman welcoming committee was out sick, so my boss threw me in to cover the main phone line.  And things were awfully calm.  Inspired by the commotion around me of enrolling new students, applicants, and first year questions, I began a quest for grad schools to occupy my time.  Which lead to a search for internships in the publishing world.  Which ultimately lead to a two year life plan.  I noted deadlines for my dream grad programs, application requirements, and costs and filled them in accordingly on my month-by-month schedule to my dream life.  Along the way I included things like “practice for the GRE,”  “apply for summer internships,” “begin scholarship hunt,” and “decide what to do with your life.”  It may seem crazy, but that pink post-it has put me at ease about the next two years.  I’m getting panicky about the idea of moving on to a new part of my life and making important decisions about my future.  It may seem a little soon for that, but a year from now I’ll be thinking about statements of interest and the GRE subject tests and that’s daunting.  However, with my trusty Life Plan in hand, I know I have a vision of where I want to end up; I’m planted solidly in my undergraduate world, rather than aimlessly floating along counting down to graduation day.  And that feels good.

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