This year has been the most significant year of my life. I didn’t go on a life-changing trip around the world or meet the love of my life or even make any life changes, really. What I did do is discover the beauty in learning. Despite having been a student for at least 18 years prior, this year I learned to truly be a student; I learned about life, about myself, and most importantly I learned to open my mind. Three major discoveries followed:
1. There is a difference between what makes you happy and what you think makes you happy. I have an ideal life laid out in my mind, and then a little further back is the true ideal. The one at the front is the most practical, the one I feel would satisfy the people in my life, and the one I’ve convinced myself of dreaming of. And then there is the life that, when I think about it, makes me warm and fuzzy and excited. I often find myself having to stop and wonder, “do I really want that or do I just want to want that?” Answering that question is the easy part; the hard part is remembering to ask it.
2. I am so lucky. This has been the most overwhelming discovery. This year I’ve learned a lot about privilege and with this I have come a long way in understanding how it’s just a matter of luck and that some people didn’t get so lucky. This has taught me compassion on a new level and has also brought about a big cry baby that I never knew existed inside of me, which is actually kind of awesome.
3. Nothing is what it is. I have seen so many new perspectives this year that I have learned not to set anything in stone. So many things I thought I knew were questioned, and often changed, that it lead me to understand how little I really know, and while that is a very scary realization, it also brings about a great deal of excitement.
I have never, ever looked forward to a semester like I am for this final semester of my degree, and that’s not because it’s the last – in fact, I’m kind of sad that it’s the end, although I’m insanely thankful for what I have been taught this year and how it has changed me as a person.