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Running Head: Social Clock Villa 1

Social Clock Settings

A social or biological clock is defined as “a concept that explores the timetable

determined by a culture or social structure, that specifies a proper time for certain events, like

marriage, graduation, employment or social status.” (n.d, study.com). I believe our personal

social clocks are influenced by a number of things such as culture, family, social

environment, personal beliefs, and more. For me, my social clock was most influenced by my

family and culture, and that somewhat reflects my personal goals and beliefs.

I grew up with a very strict and religious family. The majority of my family members

got married at very young ages and many served missions for our religion. I never realized

how much it influenced me until I grew older and started realizing I actually wanted different

things in my life. When I was younger, I always had this image of me getting married as soon

as I graduated from high school and began college. My mother had gotten married at age 18,

so in my mind, I wanted to get married between the ages 18 - 21. Now that I am 18, I realize

how young I am and how much I have yet to figure out. I don’t feel ready to get married and

start having children now or any time soon. Though I have come to realize I won’t get

married any time soon, I still want to be married and have my first child before the age of 30.

I think this is due to the fact that I really want to start my own family and the older I get, the

harder that will become. The problem with social clocks is that sometimes, we can’t plan

these things. I could get married next year, in 10 years, or not at all. Even if I do get married,

maybe I won’t be able to have children. We can’t control these things, yet we still like to try

because we become so determined in creating the life we want.

Another setting on my social clock is obtaining a career by the age of 26. For the

longest time, I had this ideal that I would attend college and graduate with a masters degree in

education. I planned on starting college right after high school (age 18), and graduate in the
Running Head: Social Clock Villa 2

normal 6 years it takes to receive a masters degree (age 24). Then, I planned to find a job as

soon as I graduated from college somewhere close to where my parents and other family live.

Last year, I decided I wanted to serve an lds mission. At first, this was only because my

parents told me to and everyone around me expected me to. Now, I have come to desire

serving a mission for myself and for those I plan to teach. I can leave for my mission once I

turn 19, and I will be on it for 1 year and 6 months. Due to this, I will have to postpone

college during that time. That sets me back on the social clock I had originally planned. The

thing is that life is unpredictable, and things can change very quickly. Recently, I have been

having doubts on the career choice I had been planning on pursuing since I was in

kindergarten. I had this plan for 13 years of my life, yet I just now am looking for different

options (some of which include not attending college at all).

Social clocks are an interesting concept. It is almost a subconscious thing we all do as

part of human nature. It is natural to set goals for ourselves and have aspirations and

ambition, but at the end of the day, we come to realize life can be out of our hands. If the

settings on my social clock change or don’t go as planned, I plan to take my life day by day

and adjust. It can be overwhelming and frustrating to try to plan everything out and follow

through with it. It’s natural for us to want to be orderly and have control of our lives. It does

help to have an idea of what we want our future to look like and make plans to get there, but

sometimes the best way to prepare for the future is to set goals for today and live in the

present.