Perspective | What is the good life?


Cameron Krasucki

Dylan Beasley, Senior in LAS, poses for a photo at Cafe Paradiso on Sunday morning where he usually contemplates what he wants to do with his life.

By Dylan Beasley

What do you want to do with your life? It’s a question that some have never heard and others hear every day.

What do you do when you’re a senior, it’s your last year of undergrad and you have no idea of what the hell you’re gonna do with your life? I am someone — as I assume that there might be others in a similar situation — that has studied something that they thought they wanted to do with their life. However, the façade of wanting to be a lawyer has crumbled down and now I look toward the future. I can say nothing but — in a more G-rated manner — what the heck… what am I to do? 

Having society tickle your anxiety with the idea that you’re supposed to have it all figured out by the end of undergrad is abhorrent. I could simply live my life as I want and move to New York City to audition for acting gigs and perform in any reasonable capacity that entertains an audience. God, I just don’t wanna be a gross, tacky, sellout of a lawyer. But one can’t deny the fact that wealth, to some high degree, brings comfort in today’s world. 

I do not come from money. I also am not trying to make this a lament about poor me. No. I am proud of all that has gotten me to this point. Is it that pride that stimulates worry because I don’t want the hard work to be the shattered vase on the floor? Maybe? While I wiggle around like a worried worm trying to figure out life, there is one good payoff that studying political theory has got me. I spend time thinking about what “the good life” ought to be and help discover my own definition of what I want my good life to be.

Now, we could open the floor to a discussion about whether there exists the concept of “good” in the first place. However, for mental energy’s sake, let’s say that good exists and it has some sort of palpable aspect. 

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

So, I don’t know what I want to do with my life, however, I have some ideas of what sounds good. Should I progress with what I think sounds good? If that is so, then feelings of regret for getting a bachelor’s in Political Science might arise. But also, without the studies I have completed in political science, I wouldn’t be so inquisitive about what the good life is.

I one day could pack it up, move to NYC and live how I’ve always wanted to live my life. But what I’ve observed — and wish you take away from this personal antidote — include a few things. It’s probably OK to “not know” and anxiety about “not knowing” just makes things worse. Take a few political theory or philosophy courses.  

Lastly, I know this is going to sound abrupt and not extremely well connected to this observation, but love yourself if you don’t already. I know this is easier said than done, but really, it’s something that has helped me tremendously. If there is one thing that I’m proud of is that regardless of whatever direction my life goes, I know I have myself and I love myself regardless. 


Dylan is a senior in LAS.

[email protected]