Focusing on the Future
April 27, 2020
I'm sure that you've seen the "30 day challenges" going around social media right now. Everyone is looking for something to keep them busy or distracted, hopeful, engaged, and connected with one another in a time when we all feel so distant.
One of my dear friends has posted a challenge that asks each day for you to post a song that you think of when provided a particular prompt. A song that makes you happy. A song that makes you sad. A song about a break up. A song that makes you mad. (This all suddenly feels very weirdly Dr. Seuss-esque.) This has served as an unexpected source of joy for me these last couple of weeks.
I would like to tell you that I simply focus on the song in question for that day. But let's be honest — that's not how my mind works. I've looked at all 30 days already and have started planning and plotting the perfect song for each of the days that answers the prompt but that is also unique to me.
Maybe we can future-plan together and provide one another a little hope to get us through the long days of unknown we see in front of us by focusing on our "what's next."
I've thought about building playlists with all my songs at the end of the 30 days. I've thought about all the bands that others have consistently posted,and have considered putting together listening lists of the bands I don't know but who are meaningful to my friends. I've thought about concerts I really want to see in the future, when all the world's craziness has settled down a bit and I can be with my buds again. I'm trying to write all this down and map out how to make them all happen. Excitement about what happens next in the world is what is keeping me going these days.
Planning for the future has become comforting and cathartic. I would never have thought that, given all that is going on in the world right now, this pretty inconsequential music list game would bring me such excitement for the future. I wake up in the morning ready to play. And I'm making so many plans!
This song exercise has proven to be a pretty good example of why I'm so drawn to admissions work, I think. I find such joy in hearing about what other people love and then helping to shape a future plan around that — to take things that are unique to them and bring them joy, and help map out the future in a way that will allow for connection with others, learning, and, ultimately, great personal fulfillment.
I think that in a time when the next five minutes of life seem so uncertain, maybe, just maybe, people can find some hope in planning for what life will look like five months from now instead. And I'm excited to help with that if I can. Maybe we can future-plan together and provide one another a little hope to get us through the long days of unknown we see in front of us by focusing on our "what’s next." And also a killer playlist for studying. I can help with that one, too.
Angela Montgomery is the Assistant Dean and Executive Director of Graduate Admissions at Drexel University. In her free time, she loves live music, things that make her laugh, and spending time with her family.