By Eva Weber
As we make our way through the half way point of the semester, having completed some difficult midterm exams, many of us might be heaving sighs of relief.
There are those of us, however, who despite having the weight of midterms lifted off our shoulders have begun to panic.
With the semester drawing close to the end, the realization that spring semester is slowly creeping up on us has many seniors alarmed. The ever-approaching deadline comes with the realization that our lives here at Simmons are coming to an end, and that we must step out into this so called “real world” and make something of ourselves.
Friends and family members may already be asking the ever terrifying question, “What are you going to do after college?”
What am going to do? Did I pick the right major for my future job? Do I even know what I want that job to be? Do I have the slightest clue where I even want to live? The questions start to pile up and for some they may remain unanswered.
Who do we turn towards while stuck in this rut about our futures? Tina Fey? Hillary Clinton? Successful Simmons alumnae?
Might I suggest Homer Simpson: an average citizen with a loving, supportive family and no clue what he wants to do with his life (sound like a college student you might know?)
Homer Simpson might not be the first person who comes to mind as inspiration, but take a deeper look. Over the past 400 episodes of the Simpsons, Homer has landed 188 different jobs: from astronaut to voice actor, to telemarketer to public speaker. Sure, 188 different jobs might paint him as an unreliable worker, but bear with me here.
Homer is an inspiration to the confused college student for many reasons, and there are lots of lessons we can learn from him.
To begin with, Homer is open to new experiences, even if he’s not sure what he’s getting himself into. This is a great way to be when job hunting or even when you’re looking for internships. Take a look at an application; it may not be exactly what you were looking for, but apply anyway. It could turn out that you really enjoy the work and want to delve deeper into it. Just be open to new possibilities.
Remaining stubborn and static about not finding any openings with the career you were dead set on isn’t going to help anything. Branch out! Learn some new skills so that when an opportunity to snatch up your dream job comes, you’re a more versatile, skilled (and therefore more desirable) worker.
Another thing we can learn from Homer is how to network.
This lesson coincides with being open to new experiences. You’ve also got to be open to meeting new people. Most of the jobs Homer landed were from being a nice guy to the right people. You never know who could be connected to who and where relationships can take you.
It can always be a bit daunting to introduce yourself to the higher-ups in the world, but you have to remember that they used to be exactly where you’re standing. It’s also key to remember that they got to where they are now by branching out and making connections to help further their successes. All you need to do is step out of your shell and let people know that you’re a valuable person, who’s ready to take on whatever life throws at you.
Probably the most important thing we can learn from Homer Simpson is a lesson on passion. With every new career, Homer threw himself into his work and was passionate about it. Granted, his time with a new career may have only lasted for one episode before he was on to the next one, but I stand by my case. Be passionate about whatever you’re doing.
Don’t waste your time looking at jobs that put money in the bank; find a job opportunity that you’re excited to tackle. And don’t just stick to one thing. You can begin a job with high energy, but if your passions start to make you look elsewhere, go for it! Don’t get stuck just because it’s stable; find what makes you happy. Finding a job you love means never having to work a day in your life.
Yes, Homer Simpson can be incompetent, and yes, he’s failed at a lot of his jobs, but so will you. Things won’t always work out, and it’s better to fail fast and move onto the next thing. Find your strengths and weaknesses through your failures; don’t just mope about them, learn from them.
So the next time you begin to panic about what the future holds, don’t worry about all the possibilities; just think, “What would Homer Simpson do?”