I own a little black book.
Bound in a soft, leather-like cover, its 72 pages feature the ever-so-fabulous elements of my life. And while my little black book doesn’t highlight the sexual prowess of my latest conquests, it does contain one thing and one thing only: my daily schedule.
Like any other 20-something college student, a billion obligations hover over my every move. I’m taking six classes, have three jobs and am still trying to maintain a decent social life – baking brownies with a friend last Friday night was probably the best it has been this semester.
Between the occasional baked good and bring-on-the-beer night out in Aggieville, I’ll admit I’m disappointed with my withered social life. In fact, this spring break, just like my last three, I plan to go home and spend time with the family. I even have penciled in time to get some dental work done. Let’s just say I know how to party with the best of the tape-on-your-glasses, “Revenge of the Nerds” cast.
I can pinpoint my drier-than-Sub-Saharan-Africa social life back to my glory days in high school. I was that overtly annoying, ambitious girl begging teachers for extra credit, even with my grades sitting at a 98 percent.
I wanted it all and got there, gloating over offers from Ivy League colleges and trotting around with 100 medals from public speaking and acting competitions. I worked harder for anything that could push me into a being a success but often would overlook those little things that make me happy.
Now, I don’t mean to discredit the value of hard work. I do believe people should go beyond the expectations set for them, for they are likely to learn lessons above the value of minimum wage. But when you start sacrificing simple things that make you tick, then you are gambling with more than just career-high success. You are giving up your happiness.
As I prepare for my fifth-year victory lap at K-State, I have set one simple goal for myself: to embrace life and to break free of my little black book. I realize now more than ever that a perfect grade point average or winning a zillion awards are about as satisfying as a pile of monkey poo when I am completely disgusted with my social life.
This week, I am going to take the first step toward freedom from the walls of Kedzie Hall, where I spend 90 percent of my time.
It’s a big gamble for me to break from this routine, but if you don’t take risks beyond your black book, you are likely to be unhappy, too.
Through a spontaneous trip to Denver, I finally will reach the stepping stone for my academic-driven jailbreak. I cannot wait. And hopefully, when I finally get there and spend time with my special someone, I will begin to explore just what I truly want in life and what I need to do to get there.
No matter how many classes you ace or life achievements you have under your belt, don’t be afraid to gamble a little with life. Take a risk. Live in the moment outside of your routine. You never know where life might take you. Who knows? You might just end up being happy.
Annette Lawless is a senior in electronic journalism, political science, print journalism and public relations. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.