Every day I walk, and I walk a lot. Just getting from my apartment to my internship is a 30-minute walk each way, and I also do additional walking when I have any errands. On average, I walk approximately four miles a day — sometimes a little less and sometimes a lot more.
Last week, while walking home from my internship I began to take a closer look at the people around me. I noticed that there are two types of people that walk the streets of Philadelphia (and probably, everywhere). The first type of person is walking from point A to point B, but looks uncertain. Walking slowly, they appear lost even if, in reality, they may not be lost at all.
The second type of person walks faster with a steady 1-2, 1-2 rhythm. They stand up straight, have their head looking forward, and look as if they know exactly where they are headed. This person walks with purpose.
When I first arrived in Philadelphia, I was told to be the second type of person and to walk with purpose. This is because if I wanted to fit in and have people take me seriously, it would be necessary to look as if I knew what I was doing. When I observed the types of walks earlier this week, I thought of this advice and asked myself, “Even if I am walking with purpose, what is my purpose?”
In many ways, Hanover has helped me, and continues to help me find my purpose. Inside the classroom I have been challenged to think, and have been able to become educated in multiple areas. This has allowed me to become a well-rounded individual, and also form a better understanding of the topics I enjoy and want to learn more about.
Even outside of the classroom, I have been given the opportunity to join organizations that meet my interests, and also have been able to take chances and try new experiences, such as coming to Philadelphia for a semester.
In Philadelphia, my purpose has become more focused as I have experienced city living and gained professional development. From my experiences here I have been able to better define my personal and career goals, and will be able to leave with a sense of how to focus my time at Hanover better in order to help me meet these goals. Together, these all contribute to my purpose.
When I began at Hanover, I was at point A, and after four years, I will eventually end at point B (with a lot of stops in between). When you walk from point A to point B you head in a direction, and that direction serves as your purpose. I have quickly learned that your direction or purpose may change, and it may change often. That is more than acceptable, but it is important to always have the end in mind and to walk with a purpose.