As my first year comes to a close, I realize there have been too many opportunities I have not taken to leave things I did not want to do. Example: I came in totally thinking I was going to be a mechanical engineering, and going to a liberal arts college meant that the only way I would be able to do so would be by becoming a physics major. And so I took Intro to Physics. One week in, and the universe was telling me not to go through with the class. I wanted so hard to believe that there could be something, something that I would grow to magically fall in love with about the class, and that would propel me for to strive for what I wanted so badly to do with my life. I ended up really enjoying one chapter from one part of the textbook in a class where we went through four textbooks in one semester. Fortunately, this is where I finally stopped trying to convince myself that this was something I enjoyed doing, and decided it would be my first and last semester of physics. And oh how liberated that made me feel. Not only was did I not do very well in the class, but the time I spent (1) struggling to catch up with material I could not get myself to find interesting and (2) dwelling in internal conflict from feeling that physics was the only option that fit my narrow-minded plans for a potential career, was time away from growing in things I genuinely care about and love.
I promised myself I would go out of my way to make sure I did not do that to myself again in college. And I didn’t… sort of. I was actually interested in the classes I took this semester, and did not take classes, trying to force myself to find interest in the material. However, I did spend one too many seasons playing track, a sport which I grew to love in high school, but I have come to realize, is not the most important thing for me right now. I ran distance this Spring semester, and on top of having a poor season, I was not able to do other things that seemed a lot more worthwhile and meaningful to me, like volunteering.
Before coming to college, I imagined this to be a time of having the freedom to do the things I liked, and to create and grow myself into the person I want to be. I’ve come to find that these self-imposed commitments are not only stopping me from doing what I want, but that in the process, I am losing a little part of who I want to be, since having these commitments mean I am sacrificing doing things that make a huge part of who I am. I’m glad to have made this realization by the end of my first year in college, because that leaves a whole three years of doing what I wanna.