This is the question that is inevitably asked of every college student at one point or another. Some are asked as rising freshmen. Some are asked as exiting graduates. Many are even asked again once they interview for that job they’ve been working so hard to get.
The question is a loaded one. It’s a gauge that people use to determine what sort of drive you have. What sort of vision do you have for your life and what’s to come?
I remember being asked this question several times throughout my life. And each time I’ve heard the question, I remember thinking about how unfair it was.
At 18 years of age, as a freshman just taking those first steps into adulthood, how could I have possibly known what the next five years would bring me? My answer was hopeful. I’d be a college graduate. I’d have a job. Back then, I may have even thought I’d be married, or at least on my way down that road. In reality, I had no idea.
At 23 years of age, as a college graduate, I still had no idea how to answer that question. I certainly didn’t see myself as a graduate school drop out working part-time at a bank trying desperately to make ends meet. But my answer at the time was probably roughly the same as it had been five years earlier.
Now I’m 41. All I can safely say is that, five years from now, I’ll be 46.
I don’t think about the future a great deal. Don’t confuse that with spontaneity. I may not make long term plans, but I really don’t fly by the seat of my pants either. The thing I don’t like about plans is that they usually don’t work out. I’d much rather live today for today and see what it brings, for better or worse.
So what sort of vision do I have for myself and my future? I don’t know. I have goals, but they’re not lofty. The goals I set for myself are attainable and, for the most part, within reach. My thought is, if you set yourself up with goals that are too far ahead, then something comes up and you can’t reach that goal, you’ve done nothing but set yourself up for disappointment. I’m definitely not a fan of disappointment.
What about you? Where do you see yourself in five years?