What You Learn

You know, it’s strange how nothing is ever certain.

In seventh grade, I decided I loved both math and writing. I realized that I needed both to be happy, not just one or the other. I couldn’t choose. When I wrote too much, I found myself losing touch with┬áreality. And when I did math too much, I found myself too grounded. I needed a balance between the two, needed to live in that equilibrium where facts and dreams collided as one, where the limit was always infinity.

So in eighth grade, I decided I would be both an actuary and a writer.

All through high school, I jumped between other ideas and possibilities of who I could be in the future, but I always came back to those two things. And so, when I went off to college, I was certain I knew who I wanted to be.

Except, I wasn’t.

It’s strange how a change in surroundings can so quickly change your perspective. I still know that math and writing are both a part of me, and they will always both be a part of me. And I know that they will both be a part of my future. That is a basis of who I am, and I know that it will never change.

But now, I know I will never be an actuary. I know that I do not enjoy business, or management, or economics, but I love statistics. I know I love math, but only computing math. I can’t stand mathematical theory. I’m uncertain if I actually like research, because I don’t like planning out and leading an entire project, but I don’t know if all research is like that.

And back in high school, I hated technology, and it hated me too. I wanted nothing to do with it, stayed as far away from it as possible. Now, I love coding. I’m teaching myself every coding language I can, trying to take courses in computer science. If only everyone in high school could see me now…

And now, I know that I don’t want to be a general writer. I want to be a poet. I mean, sure, I may write some short stories every now and again, maybe publish some novels whenever I finish them, but I love poetry and want to focus on it. Maybe I can even publish one day.

And I understand things now that I never understood before, things about life that don’t make sense until you go off to college.

I know that many people don’t want to give advice, and sometimes it’s better that they don’t because, sometimes, your personality and morals are the deciding factors.

And for some people, all they want to do is give advice. And you have to learn to take their advice graciously, but always follow your own heart in the end when you make decisions.

I know that things don’t always work out the way you want them to, but that’s okay, because they work out the way they need to.

And sometimes, it really hurts when they don’t work out the way you want them to, because you really wanted them to work out one way. And it’s hard, but you have to keep going and keep the same pace. Because if you doubt yourself for even a moment, you could miss the opportunity to be something great.

I know that it’s important to do crazy, unexpected, last minute things to take your mind off of┬álife for a bit, especially if you have an important exam coming up.

But there are also times where you have to think realistically and say no to a crazy adventure.

I know that you have to take every opportunity as it comes, because as soon as it passes, you’ll wish you had taken it.

But you have to be careful to set limits and know when enough is enough, because if you chase after everything, you’ll spread yourself too thin and lose everything.

I know you should appreciate people and things while you have them, because someday, you won’t have them anymore.

And when that someday comes, you’re allowed to mourn and be sad. But you also have to accept that it came, and keep moving forward, because life won’t wait for you.

I know that it just goes to show how strong you are when you face the world while you’re losing everything, whether you succeed or not.

And you’re not weak if you need to ask for help. And if you’re not feeling well, you’re never too little of a concern for people to take care of you.

I know that you should always look up at the world around you so you don’t miss something incredible, like a guy in an ape costume chasing a guy in a banana costume.

And that a hanging stuffed animal shark head thing is one of the best investments that you can make.

I know that, in the grand scheme of things, a C isn’t the end of the world, and honestly, neither is a D or an F. It’s a setback, but you live and learn.

I know that you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy, and honestly, you’re better off not getting into one until you’re comfortable with the environment.

I know that meals in dining courts are a great place to catch up with your newest friends when life gets busy.

I know that it’s worth it to find the time to contact the people who were most important to you before college.

I know that you can’t succeed at everything. Everyone fails sometimes. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect. How fast you get back up is the real proof of your success.