The sun was ducking into a blaze of orange and pink flames, as if taunting me as it stole the color and light from my path. I looked left and right, breathing in a controlled rhythm with each stride. "Where am I?" I asked myself as I sped past the same, or at least what appeared to be the same, unfamiliar road sign for a third time. The orange light of the evening slowly faded into nighttime darkness. "Hurry," I could hear the sun call. But, I was lost in a familiar place.
What a way to start the new year: lost. I was out running in my 'new' rural neighborhood - wherein my family had more recently moved while I was away - and while lost in thought about the new year, I became lost myself. So many roads, some paved and some dirt. So many signs, some with clear, bold lettering and some faded or broken. I felt myself losing time to find my way back to our street as the light was stolen into the night.
This is iconic of sophomore year in college for many persons who I felt were somehow running with me, all of us lost in what to do. It has been for the past couple of years now that military scholarships have become more and more competitive. Civilian work is difficult to come by. So where does that leave us, the young college kids with barely an inkling on what to do with our degrees when we do graduate?
Sadly, these were the thoughts I brought with me into the new year as I celebrated at home with my family (to include my father who came home for a short break from his work in the Middle East!). However, just as I found my way back to my house that evening, with just a dying sun ray to spare, I do believe that we will all find our way when the time comes.
I know that I have had to open my eyes to the reality of the times since the announcement of military cutbacks and the continued ambiguity of the job market, With that said, I encourage all students and parents alike to keep up with what is going on in the world, start exploring all of your options as far as what path to take upon graduation. It is daunting, but not impossible. Do not become lost in the economy, the job market, or the world of today for that matter and do not lose sight of your dreams and goals. It is well worth the research to open your horizons. Get excited about your future!
I hope that everyone is enjoying the new year! I have been loving the time spent visiting with my family, taking in the changes that occur each time I am away. However, I do so miss my niche at Norwich and the place that I have made for myself. I still find myself talking about NU all the time and constantly calling upon my friends on the Hill when no one else seems to understand my stories or jokes from school.
Until next time,
C/CPL Ari Eaton