Everything is about to change. Everything you wanted for your future is actually not what you want. Your mind is going to change so many times, so buckle down during those existential crises (there will be many). Be more present in all of your relationships or people will mistake you being busy for you ignoring them. DO NOT get so caught up in trying to control everything because it will not work. Never underestimate the power of a really good soft tissue when you’re sick because those thin cheap ones you bought will not suffice. Call mom more often than you originally plan to, she needs to know you’re doing okay. Make sure you save every picture you take of Tyson when you’re home because you will miss that little pup more than you planned to. Pay attention to those who pay attention to you, they’re worthy of your time. On that note, quit putting so much energy into those who don’t pay attention to you. No matter how hard you try you just won’t be it for them (that is okay). Most of all, be aware of all the greatness around you and look for ways to utilize it. You’ll survive your first year, just don’t forget to pray!
I was a big fan of Carrie’s lecture this past week. Global Health is a subject which seems it may be hard to teach without giving examples of personal experiences, so I liked that her lecture was mostly experiential. What surprised me was simply how much she had seen and how many places she had gone/people she has helped. I was really inspired by it all because I have never travelled outside of the country so to see all of her experiences just induced such an interest in traveling in me. I think in order for my future colleagues and I to remain culturally sensitive in an ethical manner on hypothetical trips to places other than our own country, we must conduct a lot of research on the place we are going before we leave. We should try and get in touch with inhabitants of the place we are going who would be willing to talk to us about customs and traditions they have, and we should ask specifically what things we should not do to avoid offending anyone. We should also learn the language of the country in order to break language barriers. We should also just simply be respectful in situations where tension occurs because we can’t entirely be sure we will avoid it completely.
This semester did not go how I imagined it. In most ways, it was for the better. But there were a few things I definitely thought would go better.
In my letter to myself, I wrote about how I need to remember how immensely lucky I am to be here on this campus. And to remind myself when things get hard that I was given the opportunity to come here on someone else’s dollar and learn something I was “passionate about”. I also wrote to try my very hardest to stay happy and healthy, and I created a goal for myself to not have any panic attacks all semester as my senior year was plagued with them daily. I achieved only 2 of the things I wrote to myself.
While I did remind myself all the time how lucky I was to be here, I did not find myself passionate about what I was learning. This semester caused me to question every future plan I had for myself. However, I am thankful for that. I learned about so many different fields and future paths that I was absolutely oblivious to for the past 18 years and I learned that questioning my plans is a wonderful opportunity for me to create bigger, more ambitious dreams.
I did not stay happy and healthy, as I was sick for 80% of the time I spent here. I also did not achieve my goal of not having any panic attacks, but that was due to the existential crisis caused by not being certain of my future plans anymore, so I deemed those “productive” panic attacks.
I am most proud of the fact that I am still alive. As cliche as that may be, I struggled harshly this semester so I think that simply still existing is a pretty big accomplishment. I am definitely going to work on staying healthy next semester. Self care is going to be a huge priority for me, and I probably will not eat as much candy as I consumed this semester. Probably.