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#16 No Longer Fresh? – Reflecting on Freshman Year (Part 1)

April 18, 2008

Yesterday was the last day of my freshman year. As of today onwards, I will no longer attend classes as a freshie. I WILL, however, still have to endure through my final exams as one. Realization hits me that I no longer have the benefit of the doubt of being “freshie so it’s ok to be ignorant about some things”. I have to find my way now, by hook or by crook. I need to get my game on, because there will be a new batch of freshies who will come in and look up to me as their “she must know more than me” sophomore senior. I can no longer ride on my freshie freshness and expect to be babied. (You will be very surprised how much babying profs do when they know that a class is full of freshmen)

I am rather surprised by how enlightened I feel today as compared to yesterday. This feeling of in-betweenness, of knowing that you are so close to leaving a comfortable present state and advancing to a not-so-comfortable and rather daunting territory is awkward, frightening and strangely refreshing. I suddenly have a better idea of what’s important to me now. I believe it is important for us to constantly review our priorities and ambitions, because you will soon find that they change all the time, and before you know it, what you felt was terribly vital in your life is no longer as significant anymore.

I can no longer be indecisive and keep thinking that I still have a choice, when it comes to leading my life in college, choosing majors, choosing core modules, choosing my friends, my ‘people’ (people who are important to your college career), choosing what I want to do in future with whatever I am doing now. All while constantly reviewing my priorities, and knowing what’s the best thing for me (to be happy). Easier said than done.

You are forced to grow up. Unfortunately, in this day and age, we take an excruciatingly loooong time to do that. Adolescence is like an extended holiday, away from making decisions and taking responsibilities for your own actions. It is a good way to keep yourself in denial and avoid facing the realities of college life. I admit I loved doing that sometimes. But it is seriously high time to change that.

Sometimes, you just want to grow up faster, as usual. A few days back, while talking to some graduating seniors, I couldn’t help but wish I could just graduate now and today. Like, screw everything, I’m sick of this, I want out of this. Then, I thought about how college is the very training pond that I need before I swim out to the big scary ocean of evilness out there and I silently admonished myself for entertaining those thoughts. (Please tell me that people are generally nicer in college…right?)

People. I meet all kinds of people everyday. I learn a little bit of something new about them everyday. I sometimes feel a little sad that I can’t make long, lasting relationships with the interesting ones. I feel a little overwhelmed by how there are so many opportunities to meet new people, yet it is so difficult to find someone who is on your wavelength. But I love meeting new people too much to give up on my quest.

The upside: I became increasingly aware of how diverse people can get. (You sort of know, but you don’t really see it. But once you meet and talk to them, it becomes illuminatingly real.) There are many types of people out there. Discover and embrace them. Be fascinated by them.

The downside: I find it frustrating when I meet some people who are incredibly intelligent but selfish, and some who have a heart of gold but not so smart. The fact that people are not so great after all becomes more striking in college. College is a brutal place where kindness takes a backseat to academic excellence. People know that and they take advantage of it, and you feel like it’s a daily warzone out there. More often than not, you’ll also find that the smartest people are the not the easiest to work with, but you deal. All is not lost though. I’m fortunate enough to have met some smart+humorous+focused+easygoing people, and these are the lovely people that make college life bearable.

I can’t help but resent those who have it all, who does it so effortlessly as if they are blessed with more brain cells than the rest of us. But then again, who would have known if deep inside they felt as insecure as everyone else too? Despite so, I take comfort in the twisted self-consoling knowledge that these people have sacrificed more than I did for what they gained, and if I’m not prepared to do that, then I’ll have to prepare to settle for mediocrity. It’s a choice to make, and a tough one at that.

This is it, people. I’ll soon be freshie no more. But you won’t see the end of my freshness. After all, I still have so much to learn and so much to see, I’ll always be a freshie at heart!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. mekalika permalink
    November 14, 2009 12:30 AM

    I love this post! I think the hardest thing about finding good people is holding on to them – it’s so easy to lose them even after creating a great connection, if you don’t see them around much and life suddenly gets really busy.

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