As a senior, my future is constantly on my mind. Because of this, words of wisdom are a source of solace. Steve Jobs addressed Stanford’s graduating class in 2005 and his words reverberate whenever I think about my future. His touching stories, insightful quotes, and witty comments make a collection of words that anyone could proudly live by.
I said that my future is always on my mind but that’s actually an understatement. Thoughts of the future have kept me up countless nights and made me worry enough to do poorly on more than one test.
It wasn’t always like that, though. It started when I became a junior, when college came into view. It’s the first big step to making your life your own. So when Jobs, one of the more successful men of his time, discussed his life as a student, some fears were alleviated. He, too, felt the need to attend college to make something of himself. He faced what many are deathly afraid of: uncertainty. His lack of understanding caused him to stop attending college and focus on what he felt was important. His story has a happy ending, of course, since he certainly turned out well.
This doesn’t mean that students shouldn’t attend college, but rather that they shouldn’t worry so much. You’ll get where you need to go, even if your path is a bit more winding than you’d like.
Jobs talked about raising Apple from its infancy and being shoved away after a decade of hard work. His love of his work helped him carry on and he got where he was meant to be, which reiterates the point: Don’t panic.
One particular part of his speech stayed with me. Steve Jobs quoted the saying “Stay hungry, stay foolish” and it has become my motto. Staying foolish is realizing that you are still a fool, no matter how much you’ve learned or experienced. There is always more to explore. Staying hungry is wanting to find those things about which you are still uneducated.
That’s what living is. A person has their work, their family and hobbies, but if every day starts to seem the same, that’s not a life. It’s about going out into the world and discovering everything you can. Live as though you are a young child, with everything to learn and nothing to lose.
Steve Jobs lives a great life and will go on to even greater things. His level of success is attainable, though, and I aim to prove that. With the will power to go into the world living every day like it’s my last and allowing the future take care of itself, I will do great things. In the last moments of my life, I’ll be proud of what I have done and hope to have all the wisdom a person could wish for. If I do, I’ll welcome death with a smile and prepare for the next string of experiences. After all, the lessons never end.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.