|Image credit: Grant Snider, Incidental Comics|
By the end of high school, all I could see was the hoop jumping. I was so sick of it: every class was predetermined for me with only my extracurriculars to numb the boredom of the required classes. I looked forward to college knowing that while I would have to take general education classes, at least I would have options to choose from.
By the end of college, I saw that while the hoops were fewer and further between, I still detested them. I put off some general education classes until the last year I was in school. I looked forward to going to grad school where there would be no hoops to jump through.
By the end of grad school, I realized that I was wrong about the hoops. They were still there, they were just disguised. I grudgingly jumped through them and looked forward to getting out of grad school so I could be free of the hoops.
By now I've come to understand that the hoops never truly go away. But what this comic says to me is that I can choose my own goals which are interesting to me. That makes all the difference in the world.
(Thanks to @rjallain for pointing the comic out to me on twitter.)