Setting the World on Fire

My middle daughter leaves this weekend to head back to school for her senior year. She’s so ready. She misses her friends, her studies, and her routine. She wants what we all want–for life to return to normal. Of course, normal is very relative these days, and her final year in college will not resemble anything she has come to know as normal. Still, she’s excited to embark on this transitional journey of senior year.

I remember my senior year of college. I was so certain of what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to work at the National Archives, doing research, writing papers, and recording and preserving history. That desire came about gradually over the course of my four years. I had gone to college determined to be the next Peggy Noonan, writing memorable, quotable speeches for future presidents. My love of history won out over my love of politics, and I began seeking graduate programs in historical preservation. When I moved home after graduation, with no money in the bank, I took a job at our local library, hoping to put away enough money to pay for my next degree. I had been accepted into both George Washington and American Universities, and neither was inexpensive. In a move that evidently surprised nobody who knew me, after spending a summer working in our local library, I ended up going to library school instead. Isn’t it funny how a simple summer job can change the course of one’s course?

My story is not unique.

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