Whatever happened to having no direction? I’m not talking about the dude at 25 that still hasn’t decided what he wants in his life…I mean there’s a limit. Maybe. I’m talking about students. Graduating seniors, particularly. Those of you listening to speeches about finding your dream, living your life with purpose. You guys.

I mean. Get lost. Really get lost. Don’t go confidently in the direction of your dreams. You’re 18. Make mistakes. Break stuff. Risk your stupid heart. Because what really makes a whole adult is the canvas of all those errors, coupled with pluck and verve. You gotta have that …to make a change.

I was at a High School Graduation party last week, and this recently graduated dude had his community college all mapped out, coupled with going to Berkeley after that, assuming he still has the same idea at 22 that he does at 19. What he didn’t factor in were the people he would meet, the new things he would learn to do, the inspiration that might come from a different place.

My own direction-less college life took a turn down a path with no lights. I went to school to be a nurse, but completely avoided that road at the first sign of a naked 85 year old cadaver. I bolted out of that pre-nursing major as quickly as I could.

Then. No direction.

Because one night, I found myself at the Sheep Unit with Jim Simms, drinking wine coolers and dancing the Honky Tonk to Boston’s More Than A Feeling, while waiting for a lamb to be born. And the drinking, well that’s another story. But I completely would have missed this aggie world, had I shunned everything except (at that time,) nursing. Or education.

In fact, isn’t that what the first 2 years of college are for? General Education? Figuring out what thrills you? Finding your passion? Going down the paths of misdirection, as the Indigo Girls call it?

I’ve been in education. A long time. Fads come and go. Currently, Common Core is passe, Standards are old school, and STEM has taken the forefront. Like …everyone, everywhere has to be exposed to Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. Everywhere. And, while that is fabulous, we have lost the ability to study something purely for the joy of it.

Art. Literature. The ability to take sustenance from a painting, a poem. To be exposed to the more “liberal” passions. These are concerns of mine. How do I tell that newly graduated person that perhaps you should read a book, stand in a museum, be filled up with a sunset. Kiss someone who takes your breath away?

Don’t let anyone trick you. You have some time to figure it out. Just chill for a bit, okay?

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