here’s to the undecided

by Kay

When undergraduates would go to Dr. Myers for advice, he’d tell them to find their passion. “Forget the practical,” he would say, “that will come. First, let’s find what makes your heart sing.”

Minor Myers, Jr. was president of Illinois Wesleyan University for fourteen years. I was fortunate enough to have met him on several occasions. I also knew his brilliant wife, Ellen.

So many students come to college and believe they must immediately declare a major, that it’s somehow wrong to write “undecided” on the line where their major should go. But how do you know what your major should be? How can you possibly know what you want to do in fifty years? or even five years?

Dr. Myers encouraged students to take their time before deciding a major. To an entering class of Freshmen Dr. Myers would lift his hand, as if in a toast, and say, “Here’s to the undecided.”

It’s graduation season. Time for our undergraduates to enter the work force or go to graduate school or return home to Mom and Dad and hope for the best.

It’s my graduation season, too. I began student teaching when I was 20 years old and I’ve been in education ever since. I retire in six weeks.

I’m undecided about what to do next. I know I’ll keep riding my bike–we’re bicycling through Vietnam next December. I know I’ll take photographs. I have a photography class in April and another one in May. But I may also take a class in architectural styles. Or sign up for guitar lessons. I may want to protest something that needs protesting. I may want to see Alaska and maybe Africa. It’s all out there for me. For now, I can be undecided.

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