THE NEXT CHAPTER
In less than thirty days, I’ll be joining my almost nine-hundred classmates in a walk of remembrance. I will be graduating and opening a new page in my book. On May 30th, I will cross the stage, and be handed my diploma, a trophy of all that I have accomplished in the first eighteen years of my life. I will take that moment to remember all of the things that shaped who I am today and I will be thankful for the good and the bad times. Every situation that I have come upon has molded me into the person I am. Every second that I spent doing homework, stressing over projects and tests, fighting with friends, and everything in between has made an impact. As I’m sure many people are doing, I am using this opportunity to not only reflect, but re-prioritize. Over the hustle and bustle of life, I’ve lost touch with many things I’ve wanted. I plan on taking full advantage of the opportunity to open a new chapter in my life. I hope to be prosperous and successful in everything I work towards. I hope I can learn from the mistakes I make in the future, as I’m bound to have plenty. I so desperately yearn for the future and I’m anxiously awaiting everything it has to offer. In this I hope to learn more about myself and become centered with who I am and who I wish to be. I wish to become the best version of myself that I can be, and nothing less. I hope that I can make the most of everything that comes to me and I can be fearless in all of my endeavors.
With that, I feel I should share some of the more important lessons I’ve learned thus far. These three lessons have become somewhat of a philosophy for me; words to live by.
First: the most important thing I have learned, by far, is to always do what is best for you. There is nothing more important than your happiness and comfort. This is not to be interpreted as a reason to disregard the feelings of other people, but the way I see it, is that if you are happy, and doing what is right for you, you have a better ability to help others. Many times we find ourselves conflicted in what makes us happy and what people expect of us, and that internal conflict takes away from our abilities to help others as well as ourselves. There is no time to spend on things that you don’t enjoy. Don’t mind the opinions of other people, because at the end of the day, all you have is yourself. Do what calls you and seek out what you wish, don’t waste time on people or things that disrupt your happiness.
Second: take responsibility and be independent. Since a young age, I’ve always been very independent. I’ve taken challenges upon myself and done many things on my own. Something I have learned from this is that people appreciate the ability to do things independently. In some ways my independence has contributed to my cynicism and my skepticism. I am very seldom dependent on other people, even when I know I should be, but in the long run, my independence has helped me and prepared me for the future. In addition to this, take responsibility for your actions and everything that comes to you. I believe that most things that happen to us are results of decisions we have made, and that this requires us to take responsibility for the decisions we have made. Although sometimes things happen outside of our control, it is important to be aware of your actions and be responsible for them.
Lastly: be fearless. The bottom line, most important thing I have learned, is to be fearless. Don’t let anxiety, judgment, fear, or all of the above, keep you from shining. If you want something, get it. Don’t wait for things to happen, go out and make things happen for yourself. There are so many experiences and opportunities waiting for you, open your eyes and take them. In being fearless, do not be reckless, but be a whirlwind of spontaneity. Jump at every opportunity that comes to you and don’t hesitate for even a second. There is so much to be learned and so much to experience that every second spent in fear and hesitation is an opportunity wasted.
Through my still early life, I have learned so much about how to make the most of the things that come to me. Even when I have bad days, weeks, or months, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel, even if I can’t see it at first. I have learned about what kinds of things make me happy and how to use those to make light of my situation.
In the next chapter of my life I can only hope to learn even more about life and have experiences that continuously outshine the past. There is so much to be discovered. The Windy City offers me a new breeding ground of inspiration and culture. I can hardly wait to be submersed into the jungle of public transportation and city slickers. The fast pace of the city will offer me opportunities I have only ever dreamt of, and I will take everything that the city offers me. The universe is beautiful, and the universe holds something for everyone, make the most of it.