‘Pricey Boomer’: What do I even do with my training?

50 years in the past, I rode my Kawasaki from Portola Valley onto campus, normally squeaking into class simply on time. Whereas a lot has modified since then, one factor has remained fixed: our humanness. We nonetheless seek for which means and wish connection. We nonetheless have goals and we nonetheless screw up. Within the final 50 years, as I’ve modified careers and places, I’ve by no means stopped appreciating and observing my fellow companions. So, “Ask Boomer” something. Shock me. Life is brief. Let’s add on to it.

— Helen Hudson ’74

Need your query to be featured within the subsequent column? Ask Helen right here!

Whereas I’m going into my final yr at Stanford, what’s one of the best factor I can do with the time I’ve left?

I’m going to flip the order of your query as a result of a mistake we regularly make is placing our “selves” final. Personally, I recommend you make as many good friendships as now you can. These will final a lifetime and have an effect on all the things else, together with your profession. Profession-wise, don’t restrict your self to only one factor. If there’s one thing you suppose you are able to do — attempt it. It will maintain you including extra colours to your life’s palette. As for teachers, maintain this in thoughts: it’s unlikely anybody will ever ask you to your grades, so don’t kill your self for all A’s. It’s extra necessary to construct your self as an individual. That can translate greater than any letter on a sheet of paper.

As a sophomore who has explored varied topics, I’m nonetheless struggling to search out the foremost for me. Any recommendation for college kids like me who really feel overwhelmed?

There is no such thing as a “good” factor for you. Should you’re fortunate, you’ll find many great but typically “imperfect” issues forward of you. Your world is wealthy with selections. The one solution to maintain them from overwhelming you is to attempt issues one by one. The extra you attempt, the extra you’ll uncover what you do and don’t like. It will finally lead you to what you’re keen on and are good at. As for me, I majored in communications, intent on being the following nice investigative reporter solely to search out that individuals advised me an excessive amount of. I used to be assigned my first huge story and realized that if I advised it, too many individuals would endure from the reality. Finally, I noticed being a therapist was extra rewarding and far much less merciless.

I’m intimidated by the considered approaching professors for steering. Are you able to share your expertise with constructing relationships with school members?

Right here’s just a little secret about professors: they like to really feel necessary. In any other case, they’d by no means have put themselves in entrance of a podium! So, ask away. No must really feel intimidated. They need to be requested for recommendation. They need to really feel like their enter is necessary. Not solely that, ask all of your professors for recommendation. That is the time to ask questions. The time for answering them will come later. As for me, I occurred to play volleyball on Sundays with one in all my professors. I wasn’t superb. Nevertheless, nearly 20 years later, he employed me for a significant writing challenge. Who knew?