Short post today, because I have class in a half hour.

True to form, this semester has been rougher than last (thank you, fifth class). When I was planning my semester, I thought it would all be fine; that surely I, she who thrives under stress, could handle five classes, plus a sign language class on Sundays, plus a job, plus online classes “for fun.” What I’ve learned is that yes, I physically can, but something is always falling through the cracks – a forgotten assignment, getting behind on my RA programming, a quiz I barely had the time or energy to study for (my first B- this semester. Ouch). As a result, I’m completely burned out, and don’t take joy in my work anymore. I used to love work, especially Religion papers. When I noticed that I was dreading almost all my classes, writing lackluster and uninspired papers about things at the very core of my major (in this case, Augustine), I began to panic. I’ll be at Oxford next year; what if it turns out I don’t love religion, after all? What if I’m really supposed to be majoring in Poli Sci, or English, or Psychology?

I think this is what they call the sophomore slump, or even the quarterlife crisis. We live in a society that values results over the journey, which means that we, as young people, are encouraged to sacrifice the joy of the journey for results that may be ten or fifteen years ahead of us. One of the major problems with this is that there is no way in Hell that I will be the same person in fifteen years than I am now. At my core, maybe, but I hope that I will evolve, mature, and learn in the years between 20 and 35. In fact, I’ve heard that they are some of the most formative and learning-heavy years of your life. How do I know how to prepare for a lifelong career?

The joy should be in the journey. I am twenty years old – as young and vibrant as I’ll ever be, with as much potential as I’ll ever have. I should not spend all my time inside, worrying about my employability three years from now. There needs to be a balance between being productive and realistic, and enjoying your life and your youth while you have it. That’s a balance I’m still trying to find.

Sara Laughed

Hey hey! I'm Sara, an American writer living in the Netherlands and working as a product manager.

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