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The Last Essay of my College Career as an Undergraduate

Updated on December 16, 2009

I wrote the following essay for my final in my art history course. This essay is the last piece of work I completed as an undergraduate at Penn State. The writing responds to the following question:

How would you describe your ideal vision of living in the future? What will you eat? Where will you live? And what will be your view of corporeality (e.g. what the human body looks and feels like and how it responds to various environments/stimuli)? Include other factors that structure and define your vision. What pieces from this class help inform this view and how?

My ideal vision of living in the future does not consist of large yachts, Ferraris, or private jets. Nor does it consist of mansions, private islands, or 72 inch flat screen HDTVs. However, my ideal vision of living in the future does consist of being surrounded by my friends and family. It does consist of living in a house that is large enough to comfortably support my family. It does consist of showing my children how to ride dirt bikes and fish. It does consist of remaining a small-town boy living in the country.

I grew up always wanting a nice car. I was very interested in the cars in The Fast and the Furious that were souped up with body kits, cool looking spoilers, and 19 inch rims. I once told my mother that I want to go to college so I could afford to make my car look like the cars in this movie. Actually, this interest in a car is what made me want to be a Mechanical Engineer. I was blind to other things in life: owning a house, raising a family, paying a phone bill, etc. I only wanted a cool-looking car. Since wanting that car, I have really grown up. In fact, this final that I am writing right now in this classroom is my last final that I will ever take at Penn State as an undergraduate. I am anxious, excited, and scared to finish this essay. After this, I am done. I will graduate in two days with my degree in Mechanical Engineering. Anyway, back to my essay.

The point I am trying to make is that my college career has really opened my eyes to other things in life. It has helped me realize what is truly important. And to me, my family, friends, and other people in my life are most important to me. Although I don’t have my own family yet, I couldn’t be more excited to be a father and a husband one day. It’s almost like that feeling I had about my cool-looking car when I was younger.

In the future, I want to live as close as possible to my parents. I want my children to grow up around their grandparents. It does not matter where I live, so long as we are close. However, living downtown in a big city does not really interest me. I grew up sled riding in the backyard, riding dirt bikes, and eating my mom’s home cooking. I grew up making backyard bonfires, playing in the creek, and helping my dad in the garage. I want my future to be similar. I might not be playing in the creek as an adult, but hey, who knows!

Home to Thanksgiving (Borrowed from Mazow's Art H 100 Course at Penn State)
Home to Thanksgiving (Borrowed from Mazow's Art H 100 Course at Penn State)

I searched the PowerPoint slides in an attempt to locate the perfect piece of art from this class to describe my vision. I found one piece from the Forest and Farm lecture that described my vision: Home to Thanksgiving by Currier & Ives. I love the winter setting in this New England landscape because it shows that these individuals experience the changing seasons just as I do. The barn next to the country-style house reminds me of my house and garage. Although I do not own cows or horses, the animals in this piece remind me of the dogs and cats that live at my house. However, my favorite part of the piece is the greeting shared by the people at the door to the house. From the title, this man is probably coming home to spend time with his family on Thanksgiving. In my future, I want to spend every Thanksgiving Holiday with my family, just as the man in this piece is doing.

Nobody knows what the future holds, but what I do know is that I want to share the experience with the people who are important in my life. Technology will continue to advance, people will change, and our society and culture will remain in constant flux. I’m strapping my seat belt on now, because the future is going to be a long and interesting ride.


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