In the most general sense, my summer will be spent in: self-directed learning, personal development, and solidifying what I want to make of college. The combination of these three activities make up my intellectual, spiritual, and professional goals for the summer.

To best implement a summer that meets these professional, intellectual, and spiritual goals, I will live and work in several foreign-language countries across the span of the summer, starting in Colombia. I will first work as an English language teacher or computer programmer. After time progresses and I have discovered a niche, I will start a small business, trying again each time I fail.

The first of my goals, “self-directed learning”, is designed to shape my professional skills. Now that I’m free to allocate time as I wish, I will dedicate hours per day achieving self-mandated intellectual goals. A good computer-engineering goal would be “write 1000 lines of code weekly developing your compiler”. A good language-learning goal would be “consume 4 hours of Russian content daily: podcast, audiobook, or movies”. A good writing goal would be “publish your first book by the end of the next 2 months”. Self-directed learning requires organization and grit, and I will need to make these things a serious habit for myself. I will properly manage all the things I want to do and set priorities, so I’m not paralyzed by all my options. I’m up for the challenge, considering organization and grit are necessary qualities of any good entrepreneur.

The second of my goals, “personal development”, serves to kick-start my transition from childhood to adulthood. I will be on my own, and as a result, I will have to develop my own systems of organization, living, and mental clarity. Making new friends and partners will strengthen my abilities to socialize and communicate with others. I will set regular exercise patterns, even if it’s just a simple daily run. My time alone will be used to develop my own morals and values, and clarify what I want to get out of the rest of my life. I will read literature and philosophy, from Epicurius to Camus to Lao Zi, while seriously pursuing Latin, so I can better understand the classics. “Personal development” means developing myself emotionally into a better version of myself, to better equip myself for the challenge adulthood brings.

The third and last of my goals, “solidifying what I want to make of college”, may seem out of place, but is equally as important as the last two. I find it hard to believe that anyone knows what their concentration is after just 1.5 summers of college, especially without real-world exposure. I fear choosing a concentration in a field in which I could have learned completely on my own. It’s why I’m hesitant to concentrate in Comparative Literature, Computer Science, or even Entrepreneurship. At the very least, the summer is an experiment to see how much I can learn by myself, to determine what fields I enjoy pursuing, and to understand what concentration would give me a truly unique and mind-opening education I couldn’t get myself. Even with the democratization of knowledge, college is still important, and by the end of the summer, I’ll have a reason why. (Hopefully!)

I’ll be honest, I’m extremely optimistic about my future, and these plans for my summer probably make me look obnoxious and overconfident. But to say anything less wouldn’t accurately reflect my feelings towards the subject: I’ve been inspired by idols of mine, such as Benjamin Franklin and Nathaniel Drew, to just go out and do it. So now, I’m gonna do it.

“Living. All mixed up. The more kinds of people you see, and the more things you do, and the more things that happen to you, the richer you are. Even if they're not pleasant things. That's living.” — Edna Ferber