I look back in hindsight and doubt if there was ever a time that was as turbulent as they are now. Sometimes its feels as if I am merely meandering. During others, it feels like progress. It is half as bad to be in a state of certainty than to be in a flux, where emotions seem to sway with the frequency of a pendulum. Feeling hopeful during one instant and crestfallen during the next. Never have I had to pass through such a test of fire. Never have I had to cope with so many harsh predicaments at the same time.
It seems only yesterday when I graduated out of high school, when I was in the midst of bliss and innocence. The period between then and now seems to have gone by in a whisker, somehow mysteriously compressed. The transformation from a world of pampering and care to that where you are left to fend for yourself is like a rude awakening from a wonderful dream. I miss my family very much. I miss my home and my room. I daresay that I this was one of my goals, and admit that I have adapted fairly well. I have learned so many life-altering skills over the last six months, but this has not come without the aches. I refuse to be in self-pity, comparing myself to the countless other heartrending stories that I see around me. But there is no denying that I am dealing with a lot change that is very new to me. Hard work and determination have always been my forte, and I have the faith that when there is a clear purpose and a willingness to be relentless in its pursuit, things will eventually fall into place. Living on hope is better than being a parasite feeding on misery. As one of my inspirational heroes recently said, even in the face of challenges, one has an obligation to be of good cheer, and of strong heart, as the attempt to do good should continue unfettered.
One piece of advice that I got recently was to live the life of a student to the fullest, as these years will never come back. I have been told that I take life too seriously, that I ought to free myself, to live life as it should be. I think that I agree. In so many ways, there are so many interesting and wonderful things in things in this world. I attended the Pittsburgh Symphony last week, and I returned home with the fondness for classical music rekindled. It was as if there was a message in it for me – that whilst it is true that circumstances around us cannot be controlled, our thoughts can be. I suppose we are what we think and how we think, and the manner in which we act. I am happy to be friends with a bunch of remarkable human beings that have had the great privilege of meeting these past months. Shantnu Chandel, a true Cottonian and a fierce friend. Keith Clark, Karen Mesko and Nolan Leavitt. These are extraordinary people. They embody the finest threads of American culture and represent all that is bright and noble in the American way of life.
And thus even when it seems as if you are meandering and cannot look beyond your fixated gaze, life is more than just what it appears to be. So long as my dreams outnumber my memories, there is every reason to live it fully. I love my school. I love my research, and I love my friends.