From the Business Insider, an interview with Mr. [Jeff] Bezos about choosing “service and adventure” over “ease and comfort”.
“Bezos said everyone has two options for creating their “life story.” Either you go for a life of “ease and comfort” or a life of “service and adventure.” Bezos is clear about which is the right choice: He said you’ll be prouder of living an adventurous life when you’re 80 years old.
In an oft-cited interview, which appears to have been conducted by the Academy of Achievement, Bezos described his decision to found Amazon:
“I knew that when I was 80, I was not going to regret having tried this. I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that.
“But I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. I knew that that would haunt me every day.”
As high school seniors craft their “life’s stories” AKA college essays, they face the very conflict Mr. Bezos illuminates. The college essay is simultaneously a declaration of personal independence, a reflection on a life’s meaning and an imagining of a future vision. Taking “longer” than expected, and in many cases, right to an 11th hour finale (literally), is both necessary and inevitable.
Subsequently, nail-biting finishes with nervous parents pacing in the background is also a natural outcome.
The more parents understand the complexity inherent in crafting college essays, the more space a senior has to truly engage the writing process. Thus, parents give their children the greatest chance for economic security and thus peace of mind.