To the Editor:
Another summer. Another four months with our oldest granddaughter living with us after graduating from college, as she has for the last four years. Her home away from home. “Where to now?” “What is next?” “So many of my friends are already in ‘serious’ jobs.” “I am still trying to figure it out.” And so, she ponders while working as a manager of a great, fun, retail establishment here on the Island. She is happy in the environment that enriches her, nurtures friendships, gives her a summer of sea and sunrises, biking and sunsets. This is where she has a cousin, an aunt and uncle, and, yes, one set of grandparents. This is where she finds time to think and dream and figure things out — at least a little. “Time, patience, you’re young, this is a gift at your age,” we tell her.
My husband and I watch, listen, ask, wonder, all at once, at the stresses that seem to be so much a part of young people today. They take all the “right” paths. They study hard. Their lives are filled every minute with this or that activity. They work hard at everything, especially at getting into college. And then, after all the challenges of meeting new people, achieving academic, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual goals, they are confronted with the age old question, what now?
Not only are there monetary challenges of being able to support themselves, but the mere logistics of finding a job can be more than overwhelming. And yet, while this will all eventually be accomplished, she still wants to see the world and travel. Our granddaughter is not quite ready to settle down to the next step, which is the real job or serious job.
So, off she will go to Spain. Through a program that sponsors young, college educated people, she will teach English as a second language to elementary students in a school in Malaga. As a Spanish major in college, she is ready for the experience. This will be a serious and demanding experience. It will expose her to a country and culture that is new and diverse. It will open her eyes and ears to a completely different way of life. She is so ready for the year.
There will be plenty of time for the real world. When she returns, the real jobs and all that entails will be her next challenge. But in the meantime, take time and live life. Many of the friends are grinding away already, thinking they have it all figured out. Maybe they have. But everybody, in their own sweet time, eventually does, and she will too.