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Drawing of stick figure saying HiI took Art during my senior year of high school, not because I didn’t meet the art requirements (I took Orchestra freshman year) but because I needed an elective to meet my schedule requirements. To some, an hour of art and Pandora may sound like a dream. Meanwhile, I can’t draw a decent stick figure to save my life! But between art and drama, art was the lesser of two evils. It was a mixed grade class and each grade naturally gathered together. It worked really well since there were four ‘islands’ in the class. My island was full of graduating optimists. There was the Robotics Engineer, the Marine, the LA Devotee, and of course, the Dispensary Owner. I later found out that three of these four classmates actually set off to do what they said they would do.

These ‘Islanders’ had goals and worked towards achieving them. Goal setting is the art of creating a list of reasonable tasks to complete. It seems like a simple task in itself, figuring out what one needs to do and then doing it. Yet, how many goals have you set for yourself today? This week? This month? I think the problem that people face with goal setting is confusing goals with ambitious projections of where they see themselves in the future. Effective goals are realistic, fairly easy to achieve, and will get you one step closer to where you want to be in the future. This includes routines you may take for granted, like getting a full eight hours of sleep, or self-improvement, like reading a new book every month. The desired end result would be to feel awake in the morning or to expose yourself to more literacy. On the other hand, setting a “goal” to be at the gym at 5:00am every day or to know all of Steven King’s writings by heart by next month, probably won’t end with the results you want. From a financial standpoint, hoping to strike gold overnight likely won’t happen, but you could come close with a lot of work, patience, and most importantly, baby steps.

It’s also important to periodically reevaluate these goals and consider whether or not they’re still worth pursuing. Desires for the future evolve over time and so should your goals. Give yourself the freedom to change. Ideally, you would replace a goal with a different one or modifying it a little bit, but if you no longer find joy in the activity or the results aren’t what you expected, it’s okay to abandon it.

Congratulations Class of 2018! You’ve officially done it. Off you go to find your own voice, fail, and rebuild. Go better the world, maintain the peace, or find a unique path. Remember that even though it might feel like you’re behind your peers, you and everyone else are on a different path with different twists, dips, and ends. Set yourself some reasonable goals and baby step your way through everything you set out to do. Don’t give up! Get up and try again.

Enjoy your graduation, Grad Nite, and whatever life throws at you.

Luis Dominguez
Student Social Media Intern
1st Nor Cal Credit Union