23 is a very monumental point in the lives of many. By this age, people complete their four years of college and receive their diploma. From this point, we’re introduced into this whole new world that we’ve been preparing for for the past 22 years. I will be honest and admit that I do not have a specific idea of what it is I want my 23 year old self to be. With that said, I know the impact that setting goals can have on an individual. Setting a basis of what you hope to accomplish within a certain time frame is key to figuring more out about yourself and the world. I will take these five years to explore and challenge myself, furthering my future career and happiness.
By the age of 23, a critical goal I set for myself is to partake in an internship or two. As you leave college behind and focus your attention on pursuing a career that matches your passion and expertise, an internship can be a big stepping stone to that transition as they can aid in your networking and enhance your skills within that certain field. In the Careerup article, the anonymous author quotes “As more students graduate with a GPA that is on the high end… majority of employers now favor internship experience over GPA or course work completed to identify top candidates.” Being confined in a classroom can only teach and prepare you to a certain extent. While it is important to learn about a certain profession, applying this knowledge in the actual field is as crucial because it provides you with a direct experience of what the workforce is like. The article goes on to state “Not doing an internship is a big mistake because you might get stuck with a job that you aren’t passionate about.” While I am writing about my vision for the upcoming five years, I cannot say that I am certain about anything. The great thing my youth is the ability to experiment. I am able to try and expend my time and energy within certain things that I feel as though I have a passion for. I may get lucky and realize this is my true calling. If not, I learn more about myself and take that experience with me as I move onto my next steps. The next five years are a great time for me to take risk, see what I’m capable, and learn from my experience and mistakes.
While you may be leaving behind college at the age of 23, there is an extremely heavy anchor that’s tied to your ankle, following you into adulthood. This anchor is known as student debt. Eric Pianin’s article talks about America’s startling $1.3 trillion of student debt. He states “Those with significant student debt are much less likely to own a home at any given age.” Being as owning a home is a significant form of wealth accumulation as well as a critical step in adulthood, it’s rather shocking to see just how student debt can shadow you throughout your life. I come from a middle class family and while we are certainly comfortable with the position we are in, we always ensure that out money is dealt with in the wisest way. I believe that college debt does not have to be as frightening as long as you prepare yourself for the coming years. Meghan Schalk’s article states “Students ages 18-24 spend $5 billion each year on clothes and she… $2.4 billion in entertainment.” College is financially rough as we don’t prioritize our money more than we do our education, social life, or impulse purchases. My goal is to come out of college with as minimal debt as possible and to do so, the art of budgeting comes in. Throughout the next five years, I will need to keep track of my money and have self control when it comes to purchasing. I will seperate my needs from my wants and understand that my education is my biggest investment.
Just because you’re done with college doesn’t mean you’re done with learning. Traveling the world is one of the benefits that comes with being adult. At the age of 23, I hope to discover and learn about another country and its culture. There is something about traveling to a place you do not really know all by yourself that seems risky. Being 23, this is the perfect time to take risks such as this as you come out a changed person. Calida Jenkins in her article states “Traveling forces us to temporarily disconnect from our normal routine and it helps us appreciate the people and things you have around.” After four draining years of college, putting myself in a completely new and unique situation intrigues me. With the pressures of knowing what you want to pursue in life cloud your mind, there is no way you can make decisions under that stress put on you. The best way you can figure yourself out is with a clear state of mind, one which you can acquire from traveling.
Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein says “the limits of your language are the limits of your world.” Because I want to tour areas of the world as well as impress employers, I want to learn a second language by the age of 23. This is a goal that many college students would not have high on their list. In my case, language is as beautiful as it is powerful and learning another language will be a powerful tool to have in my arsenal. Joanna Zambas in her article states that “Most companies deal with foreign clients and suppliers and, therefore, need people in-house who can communicate with them.” With companies dealing with all kind of international affairs, the job market is very diverse. Being skillful in a second language shows companies that you are valuable; that they need you more than you need them. This rolls into the benefit of increased pay as Lisa Chau states in her article that “those entering the workforce in 2014 with second language fluency can expect an additional 10 to 15 percent pay increase.” Employers look beyond a degree when deciding who they want to hire. Mastering a skill such as a second language separates you from the crowd as businesses will lean more towards hiring you. Following on, you value to your team is noticed and down the line, the opportunities of higher pay and job advancement arise.
23 is also a great age to drop bad habits. My goal by this age is to stop procrastinating. The world works in a specific way where if you’re not on top of everything you need to be, it creates a snowball effect. Skyler Anderson stated that “Procrastinators earned lower grades than other students and reported higher cumulative amounts of stress and illness.” Because of procrastination, the potential that I put into certain things is greatly limited and I end up more stressed and worried than I would have been. Brandon Gaille highlights the fears of procrastination when he states “Procrastinating, in some college students, is one of the evidence of immune system deficiency such as flu and colds.” I for one have always put health as a priority and I have certainly witnessed procrastination impact this. As I push certain things to the side, they come back to bite me. In return, this impacts my general mood. Why is killing this habit critical for the upcoming five years? Employers look for go-getters. They are always in search of people who do beyond what they are asked for. My methods of procrastinating will definitely not correlate with the tasks that a post-college life demands.
Writing this paper certainly took a great deal of thought. More than half I spent into actually writing, I sat in my chair and just thought. If you ask any one of my friends, they will certainly tell you that I am one for living in the moment. While I do think about the future and what it holds, I realized just how crucial preparation is. We really don’t see the value of preparation. You’re always asked “Where do you see yourself in five years?” But rarely is it followed up with “How will you get to this?” I write to you admitting I am nowhere near ready for this new world that the age of 23 will introduce. I am still figuring out what I was born to do and my path for these next five years is open to any change in direction. However I plan to make it my sole mission to take this time and construct my character. I will learn, explore, and work my way through the next five years to be a resemblance of the man I described above through preparation.
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