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The One Question I Wish I Asked Myself While I Was In College

Earlier today, I posted the following on my LinkedIn:

This thought recently appeared in my head. I've spent the whole workday chewing on it in my mind.

Right now, I'm filling out an important document for work. Some sections require me to go far back into my professional and personal history.

Going through my past makes me feel nostalgic about college and grad school. (Didn't think I would be saying this so soon after graduating!)

It makes me think about how I used my time in college.

Professionally, I couldn't be happier with how I turned out. I did (mostly) all the right things and have set myself up for future success.

Personally, I think I turned out alright. Like anything in life, I could have done things a lot better the first time around. But lessons are for learning. And I learned a lot.

The one question I wish I asked myself is during college is, "Who do I want to become as a person?"

I asked and answered the first question I posed on LinkedIn with conviction. I said I wanted to become an aerospace engineer. I studied aerospace engineering (Course 16) at MIT.

I am now an aerospace engineer at Boeing.

But I never asked myself the latter question. Because of that, I wasn't as happy as I should have been during college and graduate school. I could have enjoyed MIT a lot more if I didn't pin my happiness on social or professional accomplishments and accolades.

This was a question I should have asked myself when I moved out here to California roughly six months ago. I shouldn't have jumped straight into achieving a lot professionally at and outside of work. I should have slowed down and taken a moment to breathe and reflect over the past six years.

I'm happy I'm asking that question now. I'm going to take the next couple of days to think up answers to "Who do I want to be as a person?"

I'm going to write down those answers.

I'm going to act on those answers.

And I'm going to document every step of the way, every day.


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