In three short weeks I will graduate from the University of Denver with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and a Masters of Accounting. After my five year journey at this institution, my time is finally coming to a close. And after five years, my life has changed a lot, and I like to think that I have gotten almost everything that I could out of my experience. Well, with only three short weeks of school left—here is what lies ahead for me.
As I mentioned (I am just kind of excited about it) I graduate on June 3rd, two degrees, two countries (hey study abroad), five years. However, that is not all that has been going on in my life recently. I accepted a full time job offer a year and a half ahead of my start date, so it is safe to say that I have been coasting my last couple of quarters. I bought a house in October and then ten days after closing on the house made one of the best decisions I have ever made and bought a dog, AND in 57 short days (EEK) I will be getting married to the woman of my dreams. Her name is Kristin, she is also a DU graduate, and she is earning her Masters in Epidemiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Campus. I know, she is WAY smarter than me. So, I have a lot going on, all very future oriented. Just these short statements may make you think that my future is ironed out, that it has always been this way, and that I know exactly what is coming next. HA. Let me tell you a little story of a guy named Gage Crispe…
DU was my dream school. In fact, I knew that I wanted to go to DU before I had made any other decisions about what to study, what I wanted to do, and what my future held. It was by far the only constant of my constantly changing mind. Once I was accepted and deposited at DU is when the uncertainty truly began. My first day of class, I KNEW that I wanted to go into politics. After holding a few leadership positions in high school, I knew that I was born to be president (LOL). However, after thinking more about politics, and where I wanted to be in ten years, and listening to some of my favorite politicians (what-up Mitt Romney) I decided that if I wanted to be a politician, I couldn’t study politics. Instead, I needed to establish a name for myself in business, and then make the seamless transition into politics. Well, needless to say, after many mind changes, major changes, and the heartbreaking 2012 presidential election, I decided that politics was nothing I wanted to be involved in on a major scale. Enter Professor Eschenlohr and the first accounting class with a life changing decision. I was sold, accounting was what I was going to do. PLOT TWIST, I stayed with accounting, and I am so happy that I did—it has opened up many doors for me, and led me down a path that I (might) want to follow.
That’s right you guessed it—enter, the quarter life crisis. First, let me say, I always thought the whole ‘life-crisis’ thing was overrated, but it’s really real. How did this happen you might ask? Well, after taking countless accounting classes, I took one focused on the systems behind the accounting (yep, my final quarter of college) and decided that I much prefer how accounting works, rather than the practice of accounting (oops). Not only did I not realize this through my undergraduate career, or the majority of my graduate career, but I also had a 10 week internship with a public accounting firm, doing accounting. The thing I realize now about that internship-I didn’t necessarily love the work, but I loved the people, and that made the work fun. Don’t worry, it only took me three years to figure it out. You might also ask, but what about that job offer? Don’t worry, I am keeping it. I signed on to work at a firm that is consistently voted one of the best places to work at in America, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). After I realized that I was having a quarter-life crisis, I called my recruiter, mentor, and many other people who are working hard to try and make sure that I get the experience that I want out of my PwC experience. I couldn’t be more grateful for going to work at such a phenomenal firm.
From the outside looking in, I have all of my future planned out. But from the inside looking out (does it work this way?), I know that I am getting married on June 25th, I know that I am going to Croatia (maybe because I love Game of Thrones, and my fiancé loves me) for my honeymoon in August, I know that I will be working at PwC when I return, but I have no idea what I will be doing once I do start. The truth is, the future is uncertain, and that is ok. Did you know that it is estimated that our generation will have around 20 different jobs by the time we retire? Did you also know that the majority of these jobs don’t even exist yet? Now, this is crazy looking at the generations that came before us, especially for me to fathom it. My Dad has worked at the same company his entire life. This will not be the case for the vast majority of our generation.
So how do we prepare for these 20-some jobs that we are told we are going to have? Well, go to a school that is going to prepare you for the uncertain, go to a place that will introduce you to a new passion of every day. Find a place that makes you as happy as it does confused. Because without living through adversity, without struggling with the future, and without great people by your side (hey Kristin) you will never really thrive. I came to terms with this recently with some little things I have been struggling with (hey CPA exams). Not to get super deep on you here, but I am feeling reflective with graduation and marriage right around the corner, but this life that we live is not all about sunshine and roses. It is about fighting through the storm, not letting the boat sink, and making some really good friends along the way. DU has taught me how to do this. It has taught me that my life will not be defined by grades, it will not be defined by money, but it will be defined by the people that I know, and the impact that I leave on them.
So, is it hard thinking that I had everything planned out for my future, and realizing that I actually have no idea what it entails, other than who I will be spending it with? No. It’s really not, because all I need to know is that I will have people standing by me, and I will be able to weather the storm. Because although knowledge is power, power is useless without people to share it with. Surround yourself with the people that make you happy, because only then will the uncertain future become much more tolerable.
As this is my last blog post for Undergraduate Admission, I want to thank all of the people in the Undergraduate Admission Office for the opportunity to work here for the past four years, to grow in my professional development, and to learn a lot about working in an office setting. Thank you for letting me write cheesy posts for the blog, and even more to those of you that read them. Goodbye DU, I will be seeing you again sometime very soon.
Gage Crispe - Program Visit Fellow, Undergraduate Admission