Walking around town the other day I saw a sign on one of the stores that said it had great gifts for “Dads and Grads”. I’ve seen that a lot of places lately, now that graduations are in full swing and Father’s Day is right around the bend.
It got me to thinking. I know what gift my dad would’ve liked when I was still in college: if I would’ve actually taken it seriously.
Way back when I started college — and I do mean WAY back — I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life (still not sure, btw). So I did the practical thing and majored in Computer Information Systems, whatever the heck that was. It sure sounded good, though.
Well, once I got to college I sort of lost my focus, so to speak, and forgot what I was there for—to learn and prepare for my career. Instead, I spent my freshman year going out just about every single night and doing everything but study.
Fast forward to the mid-point of my sophomore year… I had already lost my scholarship, which had been covering half my tuition, and my GPA had plummeted to an all-time low. Personally, I was at an all-time low, too.
After my dad threatened to pull me out and send me to the Army — no joke — I decided to straighten up and take things seriously. Well, sorta. I switched to English, which was much easier for me, and I slowly brought my GPA up to a respectable level.
Still, when I graduated, I wasn’t that much better off than when I started. Sure, I had earned a degree, which in itself is no small accomplishment. But I had no idea what I could do with it. Heck, I had only taken one internship, and that was just for a month late in my senior year, which was way too late to do me any good.
If only I had realized the opportunity I had been given… If only I had recognized all the resources around me and taken advantage of them… If only I had taken my college education seriously, setting some time aside to have fun, but dedicating the majority of my time to figuring out what I was truly passionate about and then learning everything I could about it…
If only I had used my time in college to develop my identity, learn how to present my best self to the world, and embark on a path to a fulfilling career.…
Now that would’ve been the perfect gift for my dad and this grad. ~