When I was a high school junior, I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. Everyone around me knew it, too. It had been my goal since middle school. I talked to the right people, took the right classes, was accepted into the right college. Finally that goal was becoming real. I filled 3 quarters with math and chemistry, visits to the vet school and late nights at the Ag Library.
And felt I was undoubtedly moving in the wrong direction. I recognized the feeling long before I accepted it. That was hard. What was harder was admitting it to everyone else. Would they be disappointed? See me as a failure?
There are over 500 Junior Leadership alumni. I can truthfully say that every one of them has been afraid of failing. More so, of disappointing. It is yet another heavy burden at a time in life when burdens are a pretty new reality and we aren’t too proficient at wielding them.
Last week 10 people from a multitude of life experiences openly spoke with the JrLMC Class of 2018 about their winding educational, personal and professional paths. They shared successes, challenges, surprises. With so many different stories they shared common messages: Don’t be afraid to not know what you want to do with your life. Challenge yourself. Learn how to communicate. Use what you enjoy to steer you. If you want to be greater than you are, make an impact on others’ lives. Be open-minded and ready for change.
By sharing their stories, these leaders lightened the burden of leaders so early in their journey. “I learned a lot about moving forward in my life.” “I’m so much less worried about possibly changing majors.” “I feel so much more excited about choosing a career path.” “Today gave me hope for our future.”
To all of our LMC and JrLMC alumni and other community leaders who were part of Career Day, thank you for lightening the load and lighting the path.