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In twenty years, this plan will almost be something of a relic of my foolishness. For now, I can hope that the following is what I will see after twenty years.


Hopefully I will have earned both an undergraduate degree in economics and a graduate degree. Hopefully, I will have been able to complete a doctoral thesis and earned a PhD in economics or a related social science. If that becomes my favorite environment, I will follow a path in academia and be on a tenure track at a university with a good ethics track record. If I don’t follow that path, I will likely end up working at a financial institution or a government agency that regulates those institutions. Either way, I want to apply my degrees to a career that can better systems that are currently unstable and hold the capacity to hurt others. Ideally, I would work at a think tank or non-profit that pushes legislative policies that alleviate economic hardships of the general population.



Persistence is key to fulfilling this vision. With great fervor and dedication, I will be able to find a career that gives me a sense of purpose. In short term, I must pay attention to all that is around me, listening to myself to see if I need to adjust my long term goals. I must be open to the possibilities that life inevitably brings forward and be able to handle the trials that come with time. In classes, I will perform to the best of my abilities and concentrate. However, I will not be afraid to vigorously question systems and the curriculum itself. Through this questioning, my analytical skills will strengthen, better preparing me for my career. While in undergraduate study, I will also take computer science classes to understand “the language of the future” and increase my value in the workplace. Additionally, I will try to learn other spoken languages to gain a broader understanding of the world and its vastness. Hopefully, I would be able to practice one of these languages on a study abroad trip that also gives me workplace exposure in a different country.


Some time before I graduate, I will take the GRE and perhaps a few subject tests to qualify for PhD programs. The school I go to will help prepare me for this, but I will have to be dedicated to spending hours alone in the library preparing for the brutal examinations. If I get into a PhD program, I will have to take another qualifying exam before I conduct research for my thesis. I see many all-nighters and stress crying sessions, but the long term goal would be enough for me to tread on.


While my career may be hectic, I suppose I hope by 37 I will have found someone to spend my life with. Perhaps by then that would not be what I want, but following tradition, it seems like I should start settling down by that time. It is not something I really think or care about at this time, however. My own independence is at the top of the list.

Liu Wen looking serene on the set of the F/W 2014 La Perla campaign shot by Mert and Marcus.

I aspire to this level of peace.

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