Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Down the Road

When I was younger, one of my favorite games to play with my friends was called Chattitude. I can remember playing it at lots of slumber parties. The whole idea behind the game was that when it was your turn you selected a card from 1 of 4 categories, read one of the questions out loud, secretly punched your answer into a little electronic device, and then passed the device around while your friends had to try and guess which answer you had chosen. The person that got the most guesses correct won.

One of the question categories was called "Down the Road" and all of the questions were things about the future.

Looking back now, some of the questions seem funny, like.....

I wish I were old enough to: A) wear my mother's shoes, B) reach the top shelf in my closet, C) buy clothes in the Junior Department.

And there are plenty of other silly ones.

I came across the game recently and was looking through the "Down the Road" questions, and I couldn't help but feel a little weird about how almost all of the questions about the future are now things that have happened in my past.

Like the question....

If I could look into a crystal ball and see myself on a special day, I'd pick: A) the day I go to the prom, B) the day I graduate from high school, C) the day I leave for college.

Prom? High school graduation? College? Those all seemed so far in the future when I was playing Chattitude in the 4th grade, but now I lived through all of those events.

I can't help but wonder a little bit about how I answered some of these questions in 4th grade. It's funny how I bet some of the answers wouldn't have changed, like this question.....

If I had to start deciding on a college now, I'd probably: A) go where my mom or dad went, B) go somewhere near home, C) go anywhere that sounds cool.

I would bet that if I had answered that question 10 years ago, I would have picked "A) go where my mom or dad went" and that's exactly what happened - I now go to the college where my mom and dad went.

I feel like when you're young, you spend a lot of time thinking about what life is going to be like when you're older. Where do you think you'll go to college at? What career do you want to pursue? What city do you want to live in?

It's interesting to me that some of the things I envisioned for myself 10 years ago are actually things that either have happened or are happening.

But far more often are the times when you do things that you never would have envisioned for yourself.

As my first year of college is rapidly coming to an end (so crazy - I only have 16 days of class left!), I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past year and how a lot of things have changed.

In the past year, I have done so many things that I never would have thought were possible 10 years ago, let alone only a few years ago.

I couldn't help but be amazed when I was flipping through the "Down the Road" cards when I came across this question:

If I worked in a bakery I'd specialize in: A) filling jelly donuts, B) making cream puffs, C) decorating wedding cakes.

When I played this game in 4th grade, I probably would have skipped over this question because I would have thought it was stupid. Never in a million years would I ever do anything with baking.

And yet, last May, I baked, designed, and decorated a wedding cake for my high school's Senior Project.

I never would have I thought that I would be able to do something like that. Ten years ago I didn't even know yet that I liked or was good at baking.

Even since starting college there have been so many things that I've done that I never thought I would have been able to accomplish.

The fact that my favorite class was my speech class and that I was voted by my classmates as one of the top 3 presenters for both of my speeches? I never thought that I was good at getting up in front of a group of people and giving a speech, but I'm better at it than I ever thought.

And my SWOT presentation in front of a large classroom of people including influential P&G executives? I could never do something like that - or so I thought. And then I did it.

Another "Down the Road" question that I found was this:

When I go to college I want to: A) join a sorority, B) make the Dean's List (honor roll), C) live in an all-girl dorm.

Ten years ago I probably would have said "B) make the Dean's List (honor roll)". And I did make the Dean's List my first semester. I never would have thought about joining a sorority though.

But I did. And I joined a sorority where I knew absolutely no one in it. I don't usually like to join groups without at least knowing someone going in. When I got my Bid from Kappa Delta and ran down the hill to the girls in my sorority, I didn't know a single one, and it was a little scary. I met people though and made friendships. I also took on two leadership positions this semester, yet another thing I wouldn't have envisioned this time last year.

If nothing else, college has taught me the importance of trying new things. More importantly though, it's showed me that I'll be able to accomplish more things in the future than I think are possible right now.

I can't even begin to imagine all of things I'll do over the next several years and beyond, but even if I don't think I could do it today doesn't mean I won't be able to do it tomorrow.

I've also learned that the things that have seemed to be the hardest and scariest turn out to be the things you're most proud of.

Just like when I was in 4th grade and sat around playing Chattitude with my friends, I can't try to guess at what my life will be like another 10 years down the road, but I'm excited for the possibility of accomplishing things I don't even think are possible now.

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