I’ve had a few changes in my life recently. Nothing dramatic, but it has served to change my perspective somewhat. Among my latest updates have been newly pierced ears, a shorter haircut, a new smartphone (all of my previous phones were flip phones), and a new residence. So far, I’m handling the changes pretty well. To me, these small adjustments represent an outward sign of an inward commitment to change the way I do life. Sometimes I am so determined and focused on a certain activity that I limit myself by spending the majority of my time and energy towards that particular facet of my life.
Perhaps college has caused this change of thinking. In high school, I hardly ever had extensive homework. After all, there were rarely enough textbooks for the entire class, so realistically, take-home readings couldn’t be assigned. The hardest part of high school was just making it through the long school day. Because school didn’t take up much of my evening and weekend time, I felt free to do all sorts of other things: acting, dancing, volunteering, babysitting, traveling, etc.
And then I went to college. The class time didn’t feel as long, but there were certainly more homework, more independent studying, and more responsibilities. Now suddenly, I had more free time than ever. I could choose to spend that time reading, writing, and studying OR I could choose to use my time in other ways, like hanging out with friends, surfing the internet, or going out to parties. All of the latter activities I frankly felt to be wasted time, given that I was a full-time student with scholarships on the line and my own reputation as a good student at stake. Therefore, I committed my whole existence to doing everything right academically. Do the assigned readings; turn homework in on time; meet the professors during office hours; write a paper; revise a paper; study the material discussed in class; ask good questions during lecture; answer instructors’ questions during class; etc. But that life can get dull after a while. It will make you crazy.
In the past couple of years, it seems I lost sight of what was truly important. Now with newfound determination and clarity, I am endeavoring to change that. I am hoping the change of scenery and pace in the coming season will help to elucidate my forthcoming decisions.