I’ve written several posts about my literary adventures. They, plus a significant amount of upheaval in my life, have made me think more about adventures of all kinds. For students, summer is a time of road trips, campouts, and relaxation. But I am at a point in my life where those fun weekends spent at the lake are becoming few and far between. Does it have to be this way? Couldn’t I take a summer off and enjoy my youth while I still have it?
I struggle with this question because I so desperately want to drive off into the sunset on an adventure with my friends, and yet, I know that in three short years I will be done with college and called to a teaching position (hopefully). Being a called worker in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod does not allow you the earthly comfort of a six figure salary. Far from it. I know my financial position now, and the temptation is to work away the free time of my youth so that I have a solid financial base when I finally cease to be a student.
This summer, I will give in to the temptation. I hope to work twelve hours days for the majority of the summer and save up my earnings while living on the money I will make with my school year position. Will I hate it? Probably. I don’t believe that life is all about money. If I did, I would not be seeking to be a teacher in my church synod. I’d rather do something that I love instead of spend my life rolling in money. I think jobs you hate kill you faster. I’ve worked a couple of those already. I hope to not work too many more.
When asked the question, “Why aren’t you as excited about taking adventures while you’re young as others are?” I must say that I never thought of myself as not being excited about adventures. I am not a risk taker, that is certain, but I am excited for some journeys I plan to take in the future. This summer won’t be fun, exciting, or full of surprises (I think), yet it will allow me to take other adventures. I want to teach summer school in Milwaukee next year, and while they do pay the teachers, it’s not a profitable job, at least as far as money goes, but it will provide me with a wealth of experience. I have had a brief connection with my synod’s urban school program. The structure interested me, and the children stole my heart. I would give a lot to be able to go back to that.
I think the key to understanding this point, the point I am at in college, is knowing that everyone is excited about different adventures. You need to know when to sacrifice. I won’t be able to drive off into the sunset on some fantastic road trip this summer, but in light of my plans for next year, I think it’s worth it.
Am I saying that your adventures will become increasingly less grand as you get older? Maybe. It all depends on what you want. Mine are only going to get better.