Life After Ripon: Katlyn Lee ’12

Chapter 8: Setting Goals

[Editor’s Note: Katlyn Lee ’12 and Jeremy Johnson ’12 are writing monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their own post-graduation experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life After Ripon!]

February 2, 2013
Dear Journal,

Katlyn Lee

Katlyn Lee ’12

When I last left off, I mentioned a new-found desire I had to really use 2013 as my stepping stone year to further myself as a person. Sometimes when motivation strikes you need to run with it because once it slips from your grasp it can be hard to conjure up again; especially when already faced with a busy day-to-day schedule. The first couple weeks of January I found myself bottled up with energy and motivation but then disaster struck. Okay, maybe the term “disaster” is a little too dramatic, but nonetheless I did find myself facing a weeklong illness. While being sick for a week is nothing Earth-shattering, it did throw me out of whack with my goals and desires. I’ve heard it takes a month to create a habit. I wonder if being overly motivated and inspired could also fall into this category. Albeit, probably needless to say, during and for a few days after battling a flu I found myself a little lackluster in the “let’s take 2013 by the horns” attitude; but it’s a new month.

Fortunately, as I’m sure most everyone can attest to, life always seems to throw side-tracking situations in your way, especially at times when things seem to be going smoothly. I’m now starting to look at these occurrences as little tests. Sure you can do well and be happy when everything in life falls easily into place, but can you do the same when faced with unforeseen challenges, no matter what they may be? I think the real test in life is not where you end up, but how you find your way there. Do you do it with grace, dignity and determination or do you complain, make excuses and give up when things don’t go your way? If going through four years of college has taught me anything it’s that life will never go completely as you planned. Computers crash, people get sick, partners don’t do their research and sometimes an all day marathon of Sex and the City sounds much more enjoyable than writing that communication paper. Regardless of circumstance, what defines your character is how you choose to face these circumstances. Rewrite that paper on a library computer, take cold medicine and down that extra glass of orange juice, pick up the slack of someone else, and skip out on that late night movie to make up for your Carrie Bradshaw obsession. Whatever it is, own what has happened and find ways to work with it or around it; but don’t ever give in.

I guess what I’m getting at with all of this is that I think I’ve found that desire again, despite a little setback. 2013 is not going to be different than the 23 other years of my life. I will get sick, hurt, angry, frustrated, sad, and annoyed. Things will break, people will likely let me down and I will let myself down. What can be different is how I face these inevitabilities. How I pick myself back up and carry on. That is what will define me.

Maybe I will re-work this entry into my new blog. Yes, that’s right, my new blog. I mentioned before that I had an idea to help me further my writing and further myself in the direction of my dream career. I’ve become inspired by writing these monthly entries and I want to continue to do so after this ends in June. I’m finally going to do what I’ve wanted to for years. I’m going to write about what I love, what I know, and hopefully help at least one person in the process. I guess those all day Sex and the City marathons weren’t such a bad thing after all. Time to get my Carrie Bradshaw on… just in a less provocative manner, but we’ll discuss that at a later date.

Katlyn M. Lee ’12
[email protected]

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