Finding A “Charmed” Life

19 10 2010

Lindsey NoackBy Lindsey Noack (@LinzCnoack)

Lately, I feel so busy I can’t find time to breathe. It’s getting down to the make-it-or-break-it part of my college career where everything I’ve learned the first two years is getting put to use in the last two. Before, grades were my main focus as a freshman and sophomore, but now experience is what I’m constantly on the lookout for.

I’ve had my “intern opportunity” radar up since this summer and as prospective chances at building my resume keep coming my way, I continue filling up the precious little space I have left in my schedule. Goodbye TV, eating and sleeping. Hello homework, class and work projects.

Sometimes I find myself asking, Do I really need to be doing all of this stuff? Isn’t college the time when you are supposed to be doing whatever you want, enjoying yourself whenever you feel like it?

On Oct. 8, I went to a speech by Jim VandeHei, cofounder of POLITICO and a board member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, and I got a wakeup call.

I was excited that someone as influential in the world as him would be coming to speak to beginners like me. He talked about how he had been in the same exact position as us students and at first wasn’t really sure how great his future would be. But he really got me when he started talking about how his jobs and internships helped him learn things that you can’t learn in school. It was a lot of those kinds of experiences that helped him get into the professional field where the opportunities started to arise.

My favorite quote from his was that “you will have a charmed life when you put yourself in a position where you can have a charmed life.” He added that life is about circumstance and being ready to take advantage of it.

This rousing speech was the motivation I needed to again understand why I have been taking advantage of all the openings made available to me. This experience is extremely important for my future and, while it’s sometimes a sacrifice, a satisfying and successful career will be more than worth it.

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