Paul Bittick

I feel old. Some days I look in the mirror and I see a woman I do not know and wonder where the 16-year-old me is.

Oh my God, I am turning into my mother. I blame the sweater sets I wear to meet the dress code of my internship and to look professional as a tutor. But it is more than that, my nightly highlights include still getting home in time to make dinner, cleaning my bathroom and paying my bills.

Life is moving too fast. Internships, senior project, my job, that thing I want called a career – all coming toward me at 110 mph. Forget movies like “Legally Blonde” and “Animal House”; I never had time for anything that exciting.

A few weeks ago, I mailed out all my graduation invites and I felt like that took obsessive amounts of “me time.”

Wasn’t college supposed to be glamorous? What about all those great stories college recruiters fill Web sites with, or all those profiles from catalogs you get from schools that liked your SAT scores.

Now, at 21 years old I will be done with this chapter of my life and onto something else. What else is there?

When Richard Kipling, an editor at the Los Angeles Times, spoke to the journalism department in March, he talked about where you want to be professionally by the age of 30.

Does he realize how old that is? Thirty! My parents were my parents by the time they were 30. Why not just tell me to count my life over as of now?

I have spent most of college wondering what I want to do with my life. I have changed this idea several times, often depending on my mood or what others suggested.

But I have developed a philosophy on life that serves me well. Those who are happiest in life recognize that we are unto a purpose bigger than ourselves. Everyone in this world makes a difference and matters to someone.

Good manners always out perform good breeding to strangers. It might even make them your friends. Say “thank you” and tell people that you love them whenever you get the chance.

Those are just ways to live life, not plan ahead. Living life counts more than planning for a life you might not live out anyway.

Thirty is too far for me to plan right now. So, I chose to plan for today and embrace it as the best thing ever. Because now is what I have to work with, even with the yucky sweater sets.

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