This article and a conversation in the car with some friends got me thinking about entitlement. There have been, of course, a multitude of articles written about the entitlement of Generation whatever we want to call ourselves (Millenials?), a lot of which place this generation in a negative light. So I got to thinking, are we really entitled?
On the whole, the answer is probably yes. But then again, I think we seem more entitled than we may actually be. From the outside looking at myself, I would assume I was entitled. I’m a 27 year old in business school, who has been lucky enough to have parents willing to pay for many of my expenses while I am here and without real income. Do I think I deserve those things? No, not really. Am I thankful for them? Of course. Does that make me “entitled.” Maybe.
There is of course a portion of this population, including me, who has always been told, “You can do whatever you want. Live your dreams!” Unfortunately, while that may be true in a way, “living your dreams,” requires hard work, determination, knowledge, and skills. Is it society’s job to instill these values into young people? Parents’ job? Sometimes I’m not sure. However, I think we are failing in this capacity. We have become a country where young people think they deserve to get into college, no matter how hard they have worked or their aptitude for education. We believe that everyone should own a home, regardless of the ability to pay for it. In fact, someone else should help us pay for it, they should make it happen. We believe that work done with our hands is beneath us. That everyone should start a company. That we should only be in jobs that we like. We have forgotten the work that our parents put in and earned and achieved because they worked so hard to make it easy for us. Now so many of us think it should always come easy. Some believe that we are entitled to automatic respect, but will not give respect back unless “someone earns it.”
And this is where we run into a problem.We are entitled to things. We are entitled to what we earn, and work for, and achieve. Entitled to make a living in a job we deserve, and to buy things with what we earn. Anything we get on top of that is just a bonus. We don’t deserve to get things other people have just because other people have them. We aren’t entitled to demand our government to provide things we have the capacity to provide for ourselves.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
And just like that, two years pass and I’ve graduated. It’s been a crazy, mixed-up, fast moving time, and I’m all the better for it.
In 2003, I took my first step onto the campus of Texas A&M University. I was in the process of picking a college to attend in the fall, and A&M was a “safety school” for me. As I walked through campus, I fell in love with the spirit. I fell in love with what Texas A&M stood for. Howdy. Silver Taps. Muster. Everything about it was calling me.
I’ve been asked many time why I didn’t go to Texas, or some other school. I was never really able to explain it, but A&M was different for me. It’s a place that asks you to be more, to do more, to be better. At the same time, it rewards you with a family. A&M isn’t about the superficial. There’s a thread that runs through it. Howdy is more than a word, more than a greeting. It’s a friendliness that embodies what A&M stands for.
I feel blessed and honored to have been an Aggie from the moment I took my first campus tour. Of course, being an Aggie isn’t always easy. I spent my 5 football seasons as a student watching us lose. A lot. Including a 77-0 bea down by Oklahoma. Since then, I’ve seen us excel when we were a sure underdog, and falter under heavy expectations.
Yesterday, I watched my favorite team of all roll into Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We started the season with no expectations. A new coach. A new, and much tougher, conference. Hopes to just sneak into a bowl. We sit here now with two tough losses at home to tough new SEC opponents. But as the clocked ticked to 0:00, Texas A&M was on top. Beating the number one team in the nation is unreal.
The thing is, I’ve never needed the football to have the passion for A&M. UT fans that I graduated high school with hang their hats on a 2006 National Championship. And while I wish we could have achieved something similar, the football is not what A&M is about. I’m so thankful for the 4.5 years I spent there. To always feel part of one giant family. As I sit here, less than a mile south of another great university, I miss my home of College Station.
I am thankful for each and every Aggie that makes Texas A&M a special place.
Recently I was thinking about when I turned 15 and started to learn to drive. I remember riding in a car with one of the older girls on my basketball team, and wondering if driving would ever feel as natural and easy as it looked for them. I didn’t think I would ever be comfortable behind the wheel of a car.
And then, bam, it was like second nature. I could drive to school without thinking hard about changing lanes and tun signals. It just happened.
A lot of things are like that. This summer, starting a new internship, I felt overwhelmed and scared that I would have no idea how to do anything. But then, as sure as anything, I got used to it. There’s a certain comfortability that comes after a few weeks. You figure out a little bit more of how everything works everyday. And while I am nowhere near having it all figured out, it’s not scary anymore.
Life is kind of like that. You start a new school without any idea of where you’ll fit in, or who your friends will be. And then you figure it out. You move to a new place and have no idea how to even get to the grocery store. And then you figure it out. Let’s just hope that life overall is like that. Maybe someday, I’ll figure it out.
Now that I’ve been in grad school for a year, it may be time to look into a folder I’ve been keeping in my bookmarks bar. Every time I saw something I wanted during the school year that I wanted but most assuredly could not afford at the time, I bookmarked it. So I’m sure this folder is full of clothes that are no longer available, and other things I still can not afford. Some of these don’t even have “This product is no longer available” place holders. Let’s take a look…
- Victoria’s Secret sequin miniskirt. I can’t even grab a picture of this because the link leads to nowhere. I did get a sequin miniskirt, so I’ll consider this fulfilled.
- This Phoebe Couture sequin dress. Alright, so I would probably never really get to wear this anywhere, but I still love it. And…it’s still (sorta) for sale. Hmmmmm.
- No longer available from Zappos Nine West sequin Luminare flats. These are so cute. Maybe I can still find them.
- These just serve as another replacement for Louboutins. Still, I need some nude shoes.
- I’m cheating a little here, because I actually bookmarked some Dolce Vita heels, but these are similar and more awesome.
- Inexpensive and work appropriate…color block dress.
- Ha. These…and the wellies to go with them. Unfortunately, I have no budget for Hunter boots.
- Another dress I wish I had an excuse to wear. I love long-sleeve mini dresses.
- Tiny rings. Although I did by a similar Kate Spade one, I’d love to stack these. Especially with initials.
- And in a bit of a change of category…this iPad stand. Luckily, this one can wait for real life when I have time to cook again.
Alright, there are so many more things on my list, but they can wait for another post.
I am genuinely amazed about the great people around me. I know many who know me will scoff, but I consider myself lucky to have gone to two schools that put such an emphasis on service. Undergrad at Texas A&M showed me a range of service, from fun giant one day projects, to weekly service, to public service to our country, there’s a spirit that can’t be denied.
Of course, service is a huge part of Notre Dame too. I’m lucky enough to go to school with some great colleagues, many of whom have started their own initiatives (here, here, and here). It’s been great to get to support these causes and attend their events. I’ve also been so lucky to have participated in many of these projects over the past year. I feel honored to be part of such a great program.
There’s an important message of giving back. Whether its to your community, or to the world, there’s always more to do.
Living without a TV that’s all my own has led me back to my love for bad music. #consequences. It’s quite unfortunate, but my music tastes have been heavily influenced by bad music favored by the best-worst college (2.0) bars that I frequent at school. While a list of songs that have been added to my repertoire will at some time surface in a future post, I am digressing.
My love affair with music stems heavily from its ability to pull me back to memories, whether they be good or bad. Hearing that random song on the radio that was on the radio every day the summer of seventh grade, or the Vitamin C graduation song that was played over and over with “I’ll miss all of my friends, class of ___” from high school has an instantaneous effect.
In the same way, smells have an intoxicating effect. The smell of home when it’s been too long, or the cologne that a boyfriend was fond of can just get my mind going. There’s something beautiful and sad in some memories, but I guess that’s what makes it so fun.