On & Off Campus Blog

The Basic Life Questions
The Basic Life Questions
Annie Stockwell '22

"What do you plan on studying in college?" asked the nice woman at the register in Marathon Sports. I paused, not knowing how to answer. I hadn't been asked this question yet. While I've come across the, "What schools are you looking at?" question, this was foreign territory.

As we go through life, there are some basic questions that we will all be asked. From sophomore to junior year we become introduced to the question, "What college do you want to go to?" This then becomes the question of, "Where are you going to school?" I have become adept with this question, as it seems to be the first thought that anyone thinks of asking a high school junior. While I have my response ready to fire, I did not think that I would have to worry about the next basic life question until at least a year from now. When asked what I wanted to study, I was caught off guard; no practiced response, no buffer or excuse to avoid the question. Therefore, the employee at Marathon Sports had to listen to me figure out my own future career in ten seconds.

After experiencing this, I wondered if I should begin to prepare for the next questions of life. Beginning with, "What do you plan on doing after college?" Moving from there on to "Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?" Before too long it will be, "When are you two getting married," "When are you having kids," and so on, and so forth.

Once I went through my responses to these questions–stopping at the "Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend one" because, well, no--I took a step back and realized that I don't need to know the answers to all of these questions. I do not need to know what I want to do with my life, even if my friend has already spotted the house that she wants her children to grow up in. Instead, I can enjoy my senior year at BB&N, and be content with not knowing exactly what I will do or where I will be.

When I walked out of Marathon Sports that day onto cold and wet Boylston street, I realized that I am growing up. I am becoming the age that I thought was ancient when I was in sixth grade. My twelve-year-old self would have expected me to be able to answer all of the basic life questions. But the fact is that I am still a kid, and even if I don't have the exact response to these questions, I have plenty of time to find my own answers.