Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

It’s here—post-Christmas, pre-spring break, back-to-school, reality-check time. I will be the first to admit that I have to figure out school all over again. It’s the second week and my handwriting is terrible, I keep getting lost and I can’t seem to sit still for more than 30 minutes.

I was completely unprepared for this when I began the semester. It will probably take me a few weeks to get accustomed to my new schedule and, to be honest, I’m a bit frustrated that I managed to forget so much in just three weeks of winter break, but I am trying to think about this new beginning in a new, more positive light.

After five semesters in college, my life has become routine and normal and even bordered on boring for a while. During these times, I would look back and envy the freshman version of me—thrilled to start each new semester and meet new friends, excited to go to class, making a big deal out of each small accomplishment.

My problem is that I have been focusing too much on the past and not enough on the future. Ultimately, I realized that I am content where I am, in the middle of the toughest semester of my life, surrounded by some of the most wonderful people I have ever met, in a small, gothic-style building nestled comfortably among the trees that separate suburban Illinois from the great city of Chicago.

When I think about life after college, I begin to feel that overwhelming excitement I felt so frequently my freshman year. I have taken enough higher-level nutrition classes that I can now picture myself counseling patients, teaching school children, and using my passions to help and heal others.

I am comfortable and secure where I am now. I know exactly what I’m going to do tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. It is reassuring to know that my life is constant and predictable, but what excites me now are the possibilities that exist for my life a year or two from now.

As a freshman, I never could have imagined the experiences I would have at Dominican. I had no idea how many wonderful people I would meet, how happy I would be, or how many opportunities I would have to touch the lives of others.

I helped prepare Thanksgiving dinner for hungry people in Chicago. I led a team of students on an unforgettable trip to a little farm in Iowa. I designed, prepared and served a meal for 60 people. I developed a food product that I can now copyright and bring to market.

I know these activities will come to an end when I graduate, but the memories and experiences will continue to influence me and allow me to have an even greater impact on the world in the future.

When I arrived here three years ago, I was determined to make the best of my time at Dominican. The people here have helped me see myself in many different ways, not just as a student but as a friend, a leader, a helper.

Every day I see a new opportunity I have to make a difference. And, even when life begins to become routine and predicable, there are still so many ways I can live out my passions.

Some people might say I’m suffering from premature senioritis. I think of it as looking ahead, turning the next page of the book of my life to peek at what’s coming my way. And I like what I see.

Tags: 
Christmas, winter, new year's, nutrition, dietetics, food science, career