College Life: Out of Life

Savannah, what do you want out of life?

Possibly the toughest question I’ve ever been asked, and I suck at math.

Well, what do I want out of life?

How do I even answer this? I can pull out and read the ‘ol Pinterest bucketlist, but I don’t think that will get me very far. I mean, you can only travel the world so many times before you have to stop and wonder how it’s made you a better person.

I wish there was an “oh, never mind” backspace button that I could hit after trying out something that didn’t particularly make me a better me. Unfortunately, there’s not, and we all have to learn to deal with mistakes. Mistakes help us learn, right? Well, I for one absolutely hate messing up, especially if it has anything to do with my future.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I want my future life to be. Being young and naïve was absolutely amazing; all I worried about was growing up and being an adult. Newsflash, younger me: growing into an adult was the worst decision I ever made.

Of course, I have the big dreams of one day getting married, having a family, living in a small house, writing my own films, getting rich, upgrading the house to a castle, owning a private mountain, ya-da-ya-da etc etc…. I mean, what person doesn’t? Haha 🙂 But in all seriousness, I don’t see any of those physical things happening any time soon, and I don’t really want them to! Right now, I want to focus on pulling myself together and finding out who I really am and what I’m doing.

Are my dreams too unreachable? Too unrealistic? Will I disappoint my future self for not living up to them? What can I do now to secure those goals, but in the process, grow my own character? If you know me, you would probably know I have standards. By coming to college, it’s been a difficult challenge applying those standards to everything I do. I’m independent; I live in an apartment away from home; I’m almost full-on adult-ing. In that frame of mind, I tell myself I can do whatever I want without consequence. Of course, there are consequences though I may not sense them right away, and even if people don’t see me.

Let me be clear, I don’t do anything that would automatically draw me to be a “bad person,” or even a “non-respectable human,” but the fact is, is that I am no less a hypocrite. I need to start living what I believe, and stop questioning myself and my standards. Obviously, working on this trait is a definite goal for my life.

Hand-in-hand with working on my own moral characteristics, I also began wondering what I wanted out of my future career. Why did I choose Media Communications as a major? After I asked this question, I told myself that I wanted to make movies and other videos because I enjoyed doing it. Of course I do– actually, I love it, just as every videographer should, but I realized this this might not be the absolute reason behind wanting to be a producer. No, the main reason took coaxing time for me to admit:

I wanted to be successful.

Being an LDS member (Mormon) my entire life, I was taught to put others needs above my own. I needed to be selfless and giving, instead of attempting to take and steal for my own satisfaction. Growing up, I shifted this idea around a bit and decided that I liked being selfish… to an extent. I always listened to those who needed or wanted something, but if it contrasted with my own success, I more than not would find someone else to take my place. I don’t blame my parents at all for “teaching me wrong,” they being the epitome of selfless-serving; I did this all on my own. It was my choice.

Anyways, a few weeks ago, I started realizing that my ideas for my future and who I wanted to be were in great conflict with what I had been taught in my childhood: I shouldn’t seek for the world’s attention; I shouldn’t be selfish; I should get married and start a family; I should learn to be dependent on others.

But all these ideas I wanted to live, all these plans that I thought Heavenly Father would want me to follow, I wasn’t doing. I was putting myself above everything. As result, I had a mental breakdown to my parents over the phone. I despised myself for not partaking their lessons and choosing to be selfless. I honestly thought that I had jeopardized any chance I had at receiving eternal happiness because of my decisions.

Then, my mom inturrupted me. She told me that Heavenly Father would never not want me to be successful. Later, she and my dad went on to say that being successful was one of their main goals for my sibling and I. My mom then asked if I still trusted that Heavenly Father has prepared a path for me, to which I say, “Of course.” And then, I realized something.

I never once wanted someone else to be unsuccessful, and if I couldn’t help them, I found someone that could. Being selfish every once in a while isn’t a bad thing. In fact, in one of my favorite novels, The Fountainhead, the protagonist is criticized for being selfish and putting his creativity above others. Later on, the people who dispised his selfish success try to change him and his work to accommodate their own wants, proving hypocrisy. It’s sad, but if you don’t put yourself first, your kindness may be taken advantage of.

I still want to help people, and I still want to give, but from now on, I won’t be too hard on myself for taking a little in return. I still have a few thing to work on, particularly with the idea of seeking physical things, but because I’ve recognized the importance of staying true to myself, I don’t think that it will be as hard for me to change.

So, instead of answering, “I have no idea” to the question asked in the beginning of this post, I can now confidently say,

I want to be the best me.

-Savannah Griffin

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