Don’t let difficult times keep you from chasing dreams

Is four years still the standard to graduate? If so, then technically, you can consider me not average, which I guess is always good. I graduate in 15 days; I’ll walk across the stage, get my diploma, shake some hands and be done with my four and a half years at TCU. And, on Dec. 22, I’ll say goodbye for what will probably be a pretty long time.

When I came to TCU as a freshman in the fall of 2004, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I’ve switched my major twice and had several jobs with the university. I got sick and practically had to redo a semester, did summer study abroad in China and a marketing internship with an international integrated marketing communications agency. You could say I’ve touched a lot of bases, but something is still missing.

You can bet that I appreciate the value of my diploma, and it’s only getting better as years go by. If I could do it all over again, maybe I’d make a few different choices – unfortunately, hindsight prevails over foresight – but the choice I wouldn’t change would be the choice to come to TCU. I’ve met some of the best friends with whom I’ve had some of the best times. I’ve learned some of the most priceless lessons from my teachers inside and outside of the classroom. Several of my teachers have made a significant difference in my life. My teachers have become the most indispensable resources in figuring out what I want to do with my career or agencies to which apply.

Now, after four and a half years, I still don’t quite know what I want to do. I have an idea – marketing – but that’s about as close as I am. I absolutely loved my internship and my sales job at the Skiff, but I’m still not sure. I think the next few years are going to be ones of trial and error to find my perfect fit. Not to mention that the job market is going to make it difficult for me to find a job that I’m happy with right now.

I don’t even really know where I want to go after I graduate. I’m originally from St. Louis, but I think I want to try a new city out for a while. I’m thinking San Francisco, Chicago, New York or Jacksonville, Fla. Yeah, all over the place. How suiting.

One thing I do know is that I still have the “abroad itch.” Traveling to China instilled something in me. So what have I done? I’ve taken everything — poor economy, job market and my indecision – and made up my mind. I’ve been recently accepted to a marketing program in Singapore.

I’ll leave for Singapore sometime in February and live with other people from who knows where. I’m scared just as much as I am excited. I’ll leave behind my family, my niece and nephew, friends and my dog, Millie.

I plan on being in Singapore for about six months, and after I hope to travel to the surrounding cities, such as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Bangkok, Thailand; Manila, the Philippines; and Sydney, Australia.

When I come back to the United States, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the job market will be better, and that I’m ready to settle down and get a job. I don’t know what or where it’ll be, but I’m definitely excited to find out.

I’m just living by something Jack Johnson once said: “Don’t let your dreams be dreams.” That and the philosophical Jimmy Buffett, “If we couldn’t laugh, we’d all go insane.” I’ve done pretty well so far.