Expert for a Day

Originally published on March 9, 2012 on Beyond the Elms: Scripps College Career Planning & Resources Blog. 

At college, every day we’re pushed to look towards the future. To consider what classes we have to take for our major. To apply for an internship that will push us to the next step in our career. Even something as simple as eating dinner has to be planned in advance here, with friends to be texted, a cafeteria to be chosen, and limited hours to do it all in.

At times, the future can be overwhelming, so this weekend was a welcome chance to spend some time thinking about the past. It’s hard to believe that more than a year has already passed since I flew down and saw Scripps for the first time during the JES (James E. Scripps) Scholars Weekend.

Just one short year ago, I was mostly silent on the bus ride from the airport to campus; too shy to try to forge connections with people I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see again. Today, I talked more than anyone else in my group of scholars, hailing from places as varied as Austin, Texas and Baltimore, Maryland.

This year I was the one answering questions, not asking them. I reassured scholars that, yes, there are guys on campus; I astounded them by commenting that actually, this sixty degree weather is pretty cold for us; I entertained them by pointing out the cupcake stores and the best boutiques on the drive through the village.

Last year, I was in their shoes, stressing about my interview with the professor who would become my adviser and, this semester, my Core teacher. Now, I find it strange that the constantly smiling Scripps professors ever intimidated me. Last year, when the admissions workers asked my major, I spurted out a top ten possibilities list. This year, when the prospies quizzed me, I calmly responded, “English dual major with Gender & Women’s Studies.”

Admittedly, I still had no answer when one girl from Chicago asked me what my concentration is, but I’m only a freshman. I’ll wait for another year or so to fly by before worrying about the answer to that question. In the meantime, I’ve learned that when stressing about the future, sometimes the best thing to do is to think about the past, because that, at least, is something we’re all experts in.

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