I’ve received an email from a young lady looking for advice on where to go in life. I’m not really equipped to provide such advice and I basically told her she should seek out a spiritual director who would help her discern her vocation and then explained a little about my understanding of Christian vocation. Her story is not unlike mine: Growing up so sure of what she wanted to do in life but getting to college and having second thoughts and even losing her footing somewhat.
She asked me to post her email and solicit advice from the readership. I ask you to be nice and consider carefully because you’re advising a young person who may make a decision based on that advice.
Since I began college in the fall of 2002, I have done poorly in school. In short, these past 4 1/2 years have been a nightmare. However, things were not always like this. Growing up, I was an excellent student; either I was on the straight A honor roll or the A and B honor roll. Throughout my life, I was rewarded with numerous academic and athletic achievement awards not only from the schools I attended, but also from prestigious organizations, and even the Navy and the Marines! My college expenses were mostly covered by the private (and very expensive) college I was accepted into due to my good grades and the athletic scholarship I was awarded by the cross country and track team.
Unfortunately, once I started college, this all changed. I lost interest in school and in running. I hated what I was studying so I started skipping classes, not doing homework, not studying, and missing or failing tests. With running, I skipped practices and team events, so the coach eventually kicked me off the team and my scholarship was taken away. This has been going on for the past 4 1/2 years and I have had to beg and plead the financial aid office to give me back my financial aid several times since I’ve been in school.
They have been generous enough to do this over and over after I offered various possible explanations as to why I could be doing so poorly. I was so confused and did not know why I was behaving the way I was. Maybe it was my hormones, maybe I was burned out from working so hard in school all those years, maybe I was depressed, etc. You catch my drift… I thought I was crazy…