Hello, my dear readers!
As this post goes live, I’m traveling the American West on my way back home for the summer. It’s going to be a five-day journey, and a lot of miles are going to be put on my poor car, but I’m sure I am having fun.
For those of you who don’t know, I am a college student, and I have just finished my junior year. While this school year was great in certain ways (I became a pilot), it was also pretty tough in others. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to share my top takeaways from this year and do a little reflecting!
1. I WENT TO SCHOOL TO STUDY CREATIVE WRITING, AND I’M LEAVING TO BE A PILOT.
While I will one day offer my thoughts on creative writing courses, I am going to stay mum for now in favor of a diplomatic approach. However, I will say that I decided to attend my university for its creative writing program, because I thought it would be a great way to hone my craft.
Needless to say, I had a revelation last fall, and I decided to drop my major to a minor, graduate a semester early (so this December 2019), and get home as soon as possible in order to become a real pilot (a pilot who gets paid hehe).
This year has only reassured my decision. While I enjoy certain aspects of college, I don’t enjoy the fact that I have to take classes that relate nothing to my major or minor. Since all I want to do is fly now, it is hard going to class sometimes and trying to show a lackadaisical interest in Philip Roth or Tobias Wolff (no disrespect, they’re good writers).
Flying is expensive, and I appreciate the fact that I have the opportunity to pursue this career. However, if I could go back in time, I would have decided to pursue an aviation degree instead of following a whimsical dream like becoming a published writer that I can achieve just as easily in Tennessee. (More on this to come, I promise. I just want to make sure I’m graduated before I give my full opinions.)
2. HUMANS ARE WILD.
This year has been tough on the relationship side of things. Some friendships have soured, and other friendships have grown. In the toughest moments, you really discover who has your back, and those who don’t. However, I think this all relates to the amazing biodiversity of humanity, so to speak. We are all so different, and our personalities and ethics are exposed in what we do and how we do it.
But just imagine if everything went right according to plan, or people did exactly what we wanted them to do. Sometimes the hardest things happen so that we can see the truth, and it’s true that the truth can hurt us. But eventually our skin thickens and our hearts figure out what they really want, and that’s a pretty spectacular feeling, to look back and realize you are stronger because of the damage you’ve survived.
3. SET YOUR GOALS, AND STICK TO THEM.
While I tend to think my generation is comprised of a bunch of lazy, privileged kids (I hope no one considers me like this), there are certain individuals who really inspire me with their tenacity and drive to get things done. These people should inspire us all to set goals and stick to them, so that we can accomplish great things. We shouldn’t strive to be average; we should do everything to the best of our ability, and feast in the positive results from our hard work.
For my writers out there, this can be harder said (or written) than done. We grow sluggish when it comes to our writing, because there are a million other things we could do. Really? This is an excuse I’ve used a hundred times, and it’s a terrible one. Therefore, we’ve got to inspire each other to keep up. Some people should consider finding an accountability partner, someone who will make sure you’re doing what you should be doing. Some people do this when it comes to their faith, but I think some of you guys may benefit if someone else monitors how much you’re writing so that you’re really diving into your craft. (If you’d like me to help, I’m more than glad!)
4. DON’T LET OTHERS TEAR YOU DOWN.
There is no doubt that people will disappoint you, but you can’t let them tear you down. You deserve 100% to be heard, respected, and valued for your opinions and beliefs. I’m sure some of you who are reading this are struggling with the inability to use your voice, and this breaks my heart.
In the past few years I’ve had to speak up and stand up for myself in some tough moments. One time was against a terrifically rude American woman in an Argentine airport who slandered my friends for their political beliefs (honestly this would make a great blog post). I’m sure you all have countless experiences like this, and the truth is that we all want to say what we want to say, but sometimes we can’t bear what others have to say.
Therefore, I urge you to be yourself. Don’t tear others down, and don’t let others tear you down. People will come for you, especially if they see you as a threat, but you must be willing to respect others, while respecting yourself at the same time. Though I have always been someone who hates conflict, I do believe in my heart that we must be humble but strong.
And in all you do, be yourself.
5. GOODBYES ARE PRETTY AWFUL.
Another thing I’ve learned this year is that goodbyes are pretty awful, but they don’t always have to be. One friend mentioned this to me, and I think it’s pretty good advice: It’s not a goodbye; it’s a see you later. This kind of logic may seem ridiculous, but to me it helps when I go months without seeing my closest friends. Though college has its downs, it has its ups too, and I’ve met some of the best people through my California years.
When we recognize that goodbyes can be see you laters (okay, this is a terrible phrase, I apologize), then we have something to look forward to. A goodbye may seem final and concrete, but it doesn’t have to be. Though relationships change, the truest ones remain no matter the distance or length of separation.
Who knows if this advice is helpful or not, but it seems okay in my mind. 🙂
WE’RE ALL GETTING OLDER.
But that’s okay. Think about all the good things that have happened in your lives. I’m sure you have countless memories that would astound everyone you tell, and that’s an amazing realization. If you’re reading this, you’re blessed with the most magical gift, and that is life.
It’s our choice how we live.
Enough ramblings from me. I’ve got a road to drive down. 🙂
Until next time,
-A SENIOR IN COLLEGE, K.