"Go. Do Everything"
This article was written in Summer 2015 while studying Travel Writing in Rome, Italy
From a young age we're expected to know what we want in life.
“What do you want to be when you’re older?” is the typical kindergarten question, yet how could any five-year-old know?
Although we grow up thinking we should have the answer to this question, I definitely don't. I change my mind just about every week, and while it seems like everyone around me has their next five years planned, it’s impossible to think that somewhere along the line I did something wrong.
After meeting with Katie Parla, a New York Times journalist and personal blogger, I'm at ease knowing that contrary to cut-throat college belief, it’s perfectly fine to not have the answer.
Soon after getting her diploma from Yale University, Parla, 22 at the time, got on a flight to Rome without any plans for her future.
“I’m a risk-taker,” Parla said. “The investment in experience is important to me.”
After a week in Rome, Parla got an internship at an American boarding school to make extra money. She figured out the rest as opportunities presented themselves. Never did she think she would be blogging, let alone writing for the New York Times Travel and Food sections.
In today’s competitive world it seems like everything counts. Anything from undergrad, internships to summer jobs, college students are engrained with the idea that we need to know what they want. Parla is a perfect example of success without having any of the above.
“Be poor. Go. Do everything. Travel. Be safe, but take risks too,” Parla said.