I love Stanford, I really do. I really really do. But this whole needing to figure out my life sooner rather than later thing--not really feeling it. In fact, at least once a week I plan my entire life to a T, only to realize the next morning that X, Y, and Z probably won't work, plus I have zero real world experience about that specific area of medicine and am just conjecturing. Talk about daily freak outs.
Every mentor, role model, successful person that I've talked with, or read about, has said that their paths have been full of surprises, spontaneity, unexpected turns of events. Well that sure doesn't help me! How am I supposed to plan a scholarly concentration around that? Or figure out what to spend next summer doing? Or decide which PoM project to work on? Bah humug!
But then, time and time again, it is SO TRUE. It's always the unexpected turn of events, the one thing you never would have even thought of. Me work at UCSF after graduating college? Never predicted. Me end up at Stanford? I would have just laughed at you. Me throw the javelin? Now that is just plain absurd.
But I would argue that it's not all chalked up to spontaneity or serendipity. You have to WORK HARD to put yourself in a position where things seem to magically fall into place. It's really about pursuing the scent of your goal. I may not know what my end-all goal is (except that its going to be BIG!), but I've got to use all of my senses all the time to smell it, and then follow that scent like a mad-dog. Just saying, "hmm that's interesting and forgetting about it" is not going to cut it.
So the next time I'm freaking out, you can settle me down by asking what scents I've been liking lately, and what I've been doing to follow them. I would really appreciate being brought back to earth. :)