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In the Spirit of a Christmas Carol

What would the ghosts of time tell you?

In the spirit of the classic “A Christmas Carol,” coupled with the fact that my regularly scheduled semesters are now over, I feel it necessary to imagine what wisdom the three ghosts of time would impart on me were they to visit. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going with a ghost that would take me back three years (so fall 2012) and one that will take me three years into the future (aka fall 2018). As the year comes to a close, it could be fun (or painful…) to think about what these little friends might show or tell you about yourself.

So, ghost of Student Past, what would I see?


How did I forget what this looked like? He seems to be saying “I am done with you and yet have just met you”

There’d be several things that he/she would show me and probably chide/cheer me on.

  1. Your patience is lacking. Sure, everyone else is also frantically looking for new people to buddy up with in an effort to avoid being alone, but sojourning around half of Bloomington in large packs does not best friends make.
  2. You go glen coco. While it’s questionable whether you are running 4 – 6 days a week because you are avoiding homework or actually enjoying each of those runs (yes, I am that person that likes running), it’s definitely good for you and probably lowered your crazy freshman levels by at least 20%.
  3. CHILLAX. While I know you *think* you are set on being a nurse, and you need that elusive 4.0 GPA to make that happen (spoiler: it won’t after you get a D on your very first college exam), you do not need to breakdown every time you complete a Finite assignment or study until 2 or 3 every night.
  4. Another good thing: Very pleased that you joined the IU Equestrian Team. Those chicas are some of the craziest girls you will meet, but also some of the most caring and you should always be thankful for them giving you your first home at IU.

Ghost of Intern Present’s turn to visit me…


All together now: For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow…

Talking to myself in the present tense is slightly awkward, but if it must be done…

  1. You’re doing alright. I know you’re not where you’d thought you be, and that is a-ok. I think you’re going just where you’re supposed to be, and there’s so many amazing things to look forward to. Internship, maybe a job, maybe riding more, maybe a dog, meeting new people and being excited for every day.
  2. THANK YOU. For making the most of your last semester, for stressing less (ok, granted you were taking 12 credit hours and part of that was rock climbing and dancing, but still), and for giving time to the people you care about. Was the semester easy in every way? Nope, but if you had this mentality freshman year you might have saved yourself a whole lot of worry. At least you can appreciate it now.
  3. Keep up the “present” mentality. You used to be so focused on the future that you couldn’t enjoy where you were at (and sometimes where you were at was pretty miserable, so I can kind of understand that thinking). Keep taking pictures simply because something really makes you happy, but if the moment is better experienced than captured, don’t worry about the camera. Keep looking at the little things, and also the big picture. A change of perspective is always good.

Oh hey ghost of Future Employed Self…


This one, not so jolly.

It’s pretty unfortunate that this ghost is all about showing Scrooge some pretty depressing things; also of note is that this ghost is a metaphor for Scrooges’ present self, seeing as it’s all cold, silent, and merciless, which finally brings Scrooge’s sense of humanity back (literary analysis for the win).

  1. I will probably find myself in either a small house or apartment with minimal furniture because I’m a slave to my student loans – but that’s ok, I won’t be the only one living that tight budget life. I also plan on having a dog, which may mean I have to compromise and not have a couch, but hey ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
  2. I hope you are doing something you enjoy. Stay true to your values and continue to question authority if something doesn’t seem right. If you’re not making the most you could be making, but have people who truly appreciate your services, coworkers that support and challenge you, and management who treats you fairly and listens to you… first of all you might be asking a lot with that, but if you can find it, hold on to it and don’t be greedy.
  3. Keep learning. Stay curious, and keep trying new things. You don’t want to be someone who mindlessly goes to work and comes home and does nothing else. Set goals for yourself and be as creative as possible.

eElizabeth Terry is a senior from Yorktown, IN currently completing her bachelor’s degree in Recreation Therapy. While her height hasn’t changed since she was 15, calling Bloomington “home” for the past four years has allowed her to grow in every other aspect of her life. She’s a sarcastic optimist nearly at the end of her undergrad rope that wants to make an impact in people’s lives, but also allow them to impact her.


Categories: Life Advice

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