We absolutely do not talk about this enough. Precisely why I've developed an entire course around this and will be teaching it for the first time next semester. It's called Designing Your Life in the Law, but it's about what you describe, whether in the law or not.

Thank you for putting these important questions out there, David. I look forward to the conversation around them.

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Aug 30, 2022Liked by David Thomson

I've been thinking about this week's and last week's posts quite a bit. With regard to students...I teach a required freshman course alongside a couple of sophomore elective courses. For the most part, and as you'd expect, the sophomores have a much better idea of what they want to do in life than the freshmen do. But it's the ones who enter one of my second-year courses with no idea why other than, "seemed interesting." This is especially common with an English-through-cinema course I've designed. And this is where your post strikes home for me because I've always thought that the first few years of college should be about finding one's calling (although not necessarily in those words).

In fact, to expand a bit, I think we start kids in university too soon. Kids in Europe often take a "gap year" but not us (Americans or my Japanese students) and I think we should. I think we should take three or four gap years. My theory is that if we were to give young people a time between their basic and their higher education when they did not have to be productive but could instead explore the world in whatever manner they chose, we wouldn't have to worry as much about them finding their “their deep gladness, and the world’s deep need, meet.” I think they'd come to university with their passions at the ready, able to learn how to best serve their calling.

Unfortunately, that's not the world we live in. So, for the moment, the best I can do is keep your post in mind and do what I can to help my students as they struggle to define themselves and their goals. Thanks for the posts, they were thought-provoking.

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Thank you, Joel, for your thoughtful comment. I enjoyed reading it (twice).

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