Growing Up

I will preface this post by stating that its purpose is to give you, the reader, a glimpse into the minds of a select group of I4K riders.  In this way, I think you will find it to be much different from other posts.  I must apologize for selecting such a narrow topic as it may not describe the experience of your son or daughter.  In any case, I think you may find it interesting because it reveals one of the major sub-currents running through some of our minds.  Yes, this ride is about raising funds and awareness for cancer research, but it is also an opportunity for us riders to reflect and think about the future.  For those of us who are recent (and unemployed) graduates, this statement couldn’t be more true.

Tomorrow we will reach Yellowstone National Park, yet another major milestone in this year’s ride.  Reaching this point after months of planning, training, and more recently, riding has forced me to think about life after Seattle. I am but one of six recent grads on this year’s Illini 4000 Bike America team.  While John and Praveen know where they will be after the ride ends, the rest of us are utterly lost.  Graduation and the transition to whatever is next, it seems, caught us off-guard. 

I don’t know if I can speak for my peers, but I will admit, at least, that I am afraid.  I am afraid of ending up back at home; I am afraid of slogging through a job that I hate purely for financial gain.  It is as if returning home somehow means that I have failed – four years of college and I’m back where I started.  What have I accomplished?  How can I feel grown-up if I am living at home?  I know that I am not the first college grad to be in this situation (and I’m certainly not the only one this year), but it still seems frightening.  Maybe I should have been a business major!

We, the recently graduated and unemployed, will get up tomorrow morning and press on. Through conversation, exploration, and thought, perhaps we will find our passion….

Only 25 more days.

JMS

**As I have already stated, we will be in Yellowstone National Park over the next two days.  As such, we may have limited or zero internet access and cellular reception.  We will post as soon as internet access becomes available.

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