if you’re stressed about your grades/future: “you are young and you will take your damn time.”
A few days ago I had an emotional breakdown about my future (surprise lol.) It’s not as though this doesn’t happen daily, but it’s dawned on me that I couldn’t even discern my true desires from what my lack of self confidence was trying to feed me.
I allowed self-deprecation to get the best of me, and it turned an erroneous decision into one that seemed the most “right for my situation.” I had a plan. But I was not confident nor happy with that plan, so I fell apart.
Parked in front of my dad’s house, I voiced the concern that–although I thought was a result of flakiness–actually stemmed from an acute source of insecurity.
My dad then turned around and told me something that I’m positive will stay with me forever.
“Don’t you dare feel like you have limited options based on your past mistakes. You are not limited and you will never BE limited. Don’t rule any opportunity out right now. You’re not running out of options, you just haven’t found all of them yet. You have so much power left.”
I asked him what power a teen/young adult could have, and he looked at me with so much conviction and said, “Youth. You have youth, and youth itself holds so much power. You’re only 17. I wish I were 17. I wish I had that much more left in me, but I don’t. You are 17, you are young, and you will take your damn time.”
I initially interpreted this as a projection of his own regret. But now, I interpret it as empowerment. I think about it whenever I feel completely overwhelmed by all that I have left to do. Why should I consider quitting now? I’m only 17. Many of you are also of high school, college, or graduate school age, and we have such a long way to go. We’re only so young, and compared to our parents–people who have so many decades of experience under their belt–we don’t know the half of what life has to offer us. And that’s ok, because we have so much left to experience.
In college, I want to explore different courses. I want to find something that’s right for me, but in order to do so, I need breadth of experience rooted in thoughtful discussion and exposure to a range of things. Although I love art, I want to obtain a liberal arts education as well. And finally having said this, I realized that whatever I thought was “right” was only only a thinly veiled attempt to evade my insecurities.
Records don’t matter. Grades are trifling in the grand scheme of things. My future job is only a portion of what will comprise the best days of my life. Bad teachers, vague assignments, tough environments–I can trudge through the difficulties and I will prosper, because that’s what I can do as someone with youth on my side. This isn’t to say that someone who is older doesn’t have the same privilege. My dad wants to continue to program, and all the more power to him!
But that only exemplifies how much time we have as people who are so young. We have a leg up, and I’m certain that we need to utilize the extra time, stamina, opportunity, and youth that we have to make decisions based on our own situations–not on what other people expect of us, and certainly not according to what our stress and anxiety wants us to believe.
(The last bit is incredibly difficult, I know. But it’s a process!)
This isn’t to say that I’m not going to worry and stress. I will! Hell, I’m stressed right now just writing this. But I’m improving.
Ironically, this studyblr doesn’t thrive in standardized education. This studyblr struggles not with content, but with structure. This studyblr is really nervous about the coming year. But even then, I still have so many choices that it’d be insulting of me to become my only limitation. Obstacles are not impenetrable–not when I have so much power on my side.