Seize opportunities that will benefit you down the road

Other generations typically regard us as apathetic. I suppose they have the grounds for that argument.

I am constantly reminded by my grandmother, who lived through prohibition and the Great Depression, how lucky I am that I never really had a hard time growing up.

I didn’t have to work at the age of seven to help my father make alcohol in the basement or walk 15 miles uphill in a blizzard to school everyday.

She also reminds me that our generation’s work ethic and motivation is gone, and this may be true.

Whenever opportunities are presented before us, we might not always be willing to go the extra mile to take hold of it.

In the past two years I could have applied for scholarships. I put forth the effort to search for them only to find out I had to write an essay. I huffed and saved the link in my browser to come back to it later.

Future Alex can deal with that.

Well Future Alex forgot and checked the link two hours before deadline, and my own laziness will end up costing me an extra $1,000 this year.

What sucks is that I can’t blame anyone for my own laziness.

When I was in high school, my dad used to semi-jokingly say that he wouldn’t always be there to “wipe my expletive,” meaning I’m going to have to grow up and take care of myself at one point.

Two years later, I still find it hard to overcome my laziness and realize that I’m essentially on my own when it comes to my finances, school and most other things. However, I’m improving.

Two weeks ago another opportunity was presented to me. The Society of Professional Journalists was hosting a conference in Lansing, Mich. This would be a perfect opportunity to advance myself in the field and establish networking connections. But, on the other hand, it was a $30 fee and a 2.5 hour car ride. I would also have to get up at 6 a.m. to get ready on time that Saturday morning.

As much as my laziness was nagging me to just stay home and sleep in after a night of partying, I decided it was best to go.

It was totally worth it.

I learned a lot about the changing world of journalism and how to adapt and make myself marketable to employers while bringing back some knowledge that could benefit the newspaper.

The conference, although in the horridly despicable campus of MSU, rejuvenated my excitement for being a journalist and got me rethinking on how I can write my stories to make them more gripping for the reader.

Going to this conference, I feel, was hopefully the tipping point for me in pushing myself to take any opportunity that lies before me. Things aren’t just going to be handed to us like they were in high school. Most of us could care less about opportunities as long as they are getting by, and sometimes I consider just coasting by. It would make life a lot easier, but not in the long run.

Not applying for scholarships saves me more free time, but in the long run, I am fiscally worse off.

Not going to a conference saves me time and money, but I lose a possible advantage in the job market.

Not working for The BG News would save me a lot of stress and time, but without that experience, I’ll end up working at McDonalds for the rest of my life.

By pushing yourself a little more, you’re ensuring a more successful life.

So stop reading this stupid column and go do something!

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