I HAVE A DILEMMA.

I have no idea what the f*** I want.

I’m going to be starting my first year at a really great University in just under 50 days. The education I am on the cusp of receiving is going to prepare me for a life in which I will never have to worry about finding a job for as long as I shall live. (And a well-paying one, I might add.) After I graduate, I will be able to walk into the interview of any position I desire, declare that I attended my particular University, demand a seven-figure salary and walk away with the job.

Okay so maybe it won’t happen exactly like that. But it will be close.

Look, I’m going to a great school. People who graduate from this University have gone on to make millions and billions of dollars. But for me, it’s never been about the money.

Walk with me.

The summer going into my junior year of high school, I was blessed with the opportunity to study abroad in Sevilla, Spain for two weeks. It was the most life-changing two weeks I have ever experienced. I treasure the memories I made, memories which will last me a lifetime.

Me and my American friend visiting the “Cafe de Indias” on our way to school.
Me and my American classmates kissing some random Spanish boy on a bike next to his little brother.
Celebrating the Eurocup championship with a crowd of Spanish boys in a fountain.
Visiting a beach in Portugal. Getting massively hit on.
Making friends with a Spanish boy on a bike.

These are just some pictures from the trip that trigger the best memories for me. They are the ones that make me smile the most and laugh the hardest. (Notice that I did not include pictures of tourist attractions? I’ll have to delve into that another time.)

During these two weeks, I got to disconnect from my mundane suburban life and discover a whole new world. I was exposed to a new place, a new culture, new food, a new language, and new people. My entire worldview changed. I realized that there are people all over the world who live lives just like me. They wake up every morning, make breakfast, go to work, go to school, eat, drink, laugh, party, celebrate, mourn, walk, run, talk, sleep, EVERYTHING! And yet I had never stopped to ponder– really ponder— the fact that they go on doing this every day that I, too, am alive, eating, and sleeping and partying. We are all tourists in the world. We all inhabit the same planet, and the bond of one human race makes us all brothers and sisters. (Somewhere in the distance, a youth group chants kumbaya…)
That’s truly how I have felt ever since that trip. I feel like I have brothers and sisters all over the world. I feel like life is for exploring and discovering. I feel like life is meant for risk-taking and trusting and making mistakes and learning! Oh, learning! Life is one large, grand experiment! Travel, play, kiss, eat, drink, make love, run fast, dive deep, breathe deep, touch, feel, smell, taste, see! If not for discovering, what is life?
“Life is one large, grand experiment.”
So why try to figure out the meaning of life? Instead of analyzing life and attempting to derive meaning from every circumstance that it presents, stop and smell the roses. Look around, see the majesty. Realize that the beauty that surrounds us spans 360 degrees for miles and miles until the miles touch on the other side of the world. Realize that there is life everywhere, and where there is life, there is happiness and beauty.
Life is about exploration. Try the fillet mignon. Book the airline tickets. Take the long way home. Try out the neon blue nail polish. Get the piercing. Kiss the boy.
I don’t need a world-class education to teach me everything I want to know about life. I just need a one-way flight to Sevilla and an open mind.
I’m still going to go to college and I’m still going to get a job. I just hope that I never lose the worldview I have now to the upper-middle class. (Or the upper class.) Life is for living, future Cath. Stability is boring. Explore.

Written by Catherine Goetze

Catherine Goetze www.cathincollege.com Find me on social media! Facebook: www.facebook.com/cathincollege Twitter: @catherinegoetze Instagram: @catherinegoetze SnapChat: @catherinegoetze Contact me: cathincollege@gmail.com

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