Watson: Someday came suddenly


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As the school year quickly comes to a close, this means graduation is approaching for many spring graduates. Many students are preparing themselves for what their future might hold. Columnist Scott Watson feels his time spent in college hasn’t been quite long enough.

Scott Watson

I have so many dreams it depresses me. The college boy in me isn’t quite ready to hang up his backpack and trusty Sennheiser headphones for good.

College is a time of self-realization. Ideally, by the time you graduate, you’re already beginning to turn self-realization into self-actualization as your experience in college leads you down the path you wish it to take.

You separate yourself from the secure nest of your parents’ guarded watch and begin making sense of the world for the first time truly on your own. Some make drastic changes to their lives to alter the course of their life, others simply follow the trend: high school, college, job, marriage, kids, etc.

To be honest, in the last four years of my college education, I have never given my post-college life, the self-actualization part, much thought. Now it’s time to make the biggest decision I’ve made since coming to Iowa State.

Over the course of college I have made many realizations about myself, found new hobbies and interests, and dreamt of alternative lives I could lead. Now that I’m about to graduate, it’s time to put one of my dreams into actualization.

This should delight me — living out my dream, but still, it saddens me to know that in order to pursue one dream, one life route, I must say goodbye to others.

From the time I was 5 years old I wanted to be a rock star. I idolized the late Elvis Presley, getting new plastic guitars almost every Christmas. I found passion for music in junior high school, then played bass guitar in our school’s jazz and concert bands. When I came to college, I picked up an electric, six-string guitar and joined a band.

I’ve known for some time now not everyone can be the next Elvis Presley, but the idea of living in some dumpy apartment, scraping by on a meager salary and playing music all the time has always been a very romantic idea to me.

I grew up on a farm, so naturally I spent a lot of time outdoors, playing in the woods, riding dirt bikes, all that fun country boy stuff. My father is a farmer, so for a long time I thought I would be a farmer too. However, I realized a few years ago I have too many aspirations and things I want to see to confine myself to the only occupation I have ever truly experienced firsthand. But still, the country life is so simple, loving, free; it truly is one of the best jobs in the world.

Someday, maybe I’ll go back to the farm; I know I would love the serenity and natural beauty of it. But for now, this country boy’s got big city dwellin’ on his mind!

While in college I also learned how deeply my love to write ran. It began in a simple entry-level English class; I realized how much more I loved writing than what I was in class for, so I pursued it by way of a communications degree. I began writing for our school newspaper. I write in my free time, I now copy edit, write poetry and songs for my band — writing is easily among my strongest of passions.

It should come then as no surprise when I say a career in journalism is something that’s always weighed on my heart heavily. A few years ago, I delved into a classic American author in Hunter S. Thompson, especially his earlier works. Comical though he may be, I devoured his vivid descriptions and wild exaggerations of the American life. I admired his adventure and envied his experiences. I long to see the world in that way — from an outsider’s perspective, taking in the world one observation and scribble of a pen at a time.

The most recent of my aspirations — being an ad man — has recently been coming to fruition. It will cover several of my dreams, as I would hopefully be assuming the role of copywriter. It’s something I want;  it’s something I am excited for, but still, I can’t help but feel a sense of sadness as I feel the warmth of sun from behind door No. 4 caress my face, and the rush of air from the others slap me in the face, giving me chills as they slam shut in front of me.

I realize this is melodramatic, that there’s always time for a career change, but you’re only young once, and I hardly feel ready to grow up. But I know that’s all my foolish depression is — an unwillingness to abandon my inner Peter Pan and assume the roles of adulthood.

Scott Watson is a senior in communication studies from Ventura, Iowa.