Dear Mr. Paul Barron:
When you look back on college, do you feel the same panic of the end of those four years? Do you remember what people told you? Did you ever give their experiences credit or do you now only realize it after trying to give this same advice to some other kid grappling with the real world?
I’d like to explore this from the perspective of someone who is living it right now. And as a consequence of all this hurried preparation for who knows what, I’m starting to realize the importance of these admonitions from older, wiser people. But I can’t reconcile them. I understand the truth and reality of perspective, but I am very much a prisoner of my present worries. Here at the University of Michigan, I’d say I am part of 500 students who feel this pressure the most. In the business school, we’ve been training for this moment since freshmen year and the final result is all about the job that we land. It’s all consuming. Some say to prioritize it over academics. In the long run, I’d say that’s probably hardly true.
I will only be in this current time, in this current position once, and I’d like to capture it for other people like me. There’s a reason why we have peer coaches. We sometimes believe people who are going through the same thing at the same time more than those who have years of experience. Call it misery loves company or bonding based on age, it’s a connection that we have right now and why I think others will pick up, read, and listen to the message in these stories.
So I’d like to take all the pressures I’m feeling and tell you my side of it. But then, I’d like to write the other side of it that I’ve heard consistently and that I know deep down, but can’t act on. I’d like to write a narrative from 30 years later on what life looks like in comparison to this life at 20. I’d like to try my hand at a college student playing a mature character commenting on the immature lookout of a college student.
Written for the 20 year olds of today and tomorrow, I want to have a series of short stories with all these conflicting views. But the short story process is foreign to many students, it seems, and I’d like to document my progress and my inspirations on an online website for those who are interested in the backstage effects.
In terms of my final project, I have always been captivated by this idea of time flying by too quickly. My portfolio is based on this theme of running through life and neglecting all the little pieces, that when put together, really matter the most over any material title or societal definition of success. As a final portfolio, I want these two websites to tie together, showing how my thoughts have changed over the years and how, together, we really should take a step back from the nitty-gritty of our lives once in a while and give credit where credit is due.
If you would be interested in helping me craft this work, I would love and value your advice. The area of short story writing is very much outside my norm, but I think that I have the topic that will allow me to succeed. This is something that occupies my thoughts all day, everyday, and I would like to capture it to share with those who may have similar anxieties and maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to let go just a little bit.
Everything is go go go.
Head pounding and out of breath, I run, adjust my suit, and stroll casually into the room. My pad folio fills up a little more with the passing hour and I can distinctly feel the makeup on my face, which only gets this makeover when companies come to town.
The colorfully attired entourage at the front of the room closes out with, “Thank you for your time.”
I have 100 unread emails and 30 unread texts. People want lunch, and they want to hear what I’ve been up to, but honestly, I don’t have the time. My little wants to talk about her roommate troubles. My friend from high school wants to go out. My roommate freshmen year wants to grab dinner. Somewhere I feel vaguely guilty, but mostly I feel irritated. Meanwhile, the unread messages pile up.