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Living Your Best Life

by Ashley Surber

How many times have you been asked, as a college student, what are your plans after graduation? What do you want to do with your life? What kind of career path are you hoping to pursue?

Who says we have to have a definite answer?

We tend to believe that we must respond with a neat and clean answer. That, what we chose to study in college will then determine a permanent career path. At our age, we become hesitant if we are uncertain because the expected response is something straight forward.

I shouldn’t feel ashamed when I can’t give a solid answer and neither should you. I’ve never been one to believe in conformity. Giving us titles, and groups to fit into, or dropping us into a category based on just a few things that make us who we are. The crazy thing is, we tend to settle for one.

Our differences are what make us so special. They should be explored and recognized. We need to try harder to invest our time in these interests. The more we experience, the more we can determine what we can bring to the table and how we can use our gifts to create happier environments for ourselves as well as others. To ignore them, is to rob ourselves of extraordinary potential, waiting to be delved into.

We are all wonderfully crafted to excel in certain areas, those are our passions, our hobbies, our dreams. So, if we can pursue all of these different areas in our personal lives, why can’t this also be true professionally? I know you can all vaguely remember telling your parents that you not only wanted to be a doctor and an astronaut but while doing both of these things you would also be a professional ballerina and artist. We laugh at the fact that we ever thought in this way. That’s when our imaginations were heightened. That’s when we truly believed we were capable of pursuing more than one career path.

We instinctively become comfortable, and afraid of change or trying something new. We are frightened at the thought of stepping out of our comfort zone to a place that feels unfamiliar. What lies behind those fears are our most memorable endeavors. As much as it may scare you at first, you have to remember we have one lifetime here on this Earth and with that comes the possibility of endless exploration.

Reach for what you want most. And yes, I guess, keep practicality in mind. But don’t be hesitant, to do what you love most. Do not consistently stick to the same routine and path. Go and do. Explore the endless possibilities.

It is thrilling to explore our imagination, and to truly shoot for our aspirations, no matter how lofty. Our imaginations are places that allow us and give us confidence to dream big. Through the years my imagination as lead me to dreams of being in the field of fashion because it’s something that never fails to bring light to my life. I also wish to be in advertising and marketing where I can use my love for creativity, and with that, truly take on photography. I want to serve others, maybe here, maybe on the other side of the world. I want to be the owner of a coffee shop because for me it is a place to meet new, fascinating people and learn about their lives.. I want to travel the world in search of old, cherishable goods and uniquely crafted art pieces. I want to be an author. I want to do it all. You can too. If you fail at some it’s okay. You can say you tried and you had a hell of a time doing it.

We were never meant to conform. It’s evident in the fact that humanity was created so that none of us would ever be the same. Rest assured in that.

HC Ole Miss
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