A stranger in line at Barnes and Noble gave me the best advice I needed to finally hear.
As I begrudgingly wait in a line that basically extends from Ann Arbor to Asia at the Michigan Union Barnes and Noble Bookstore, I heard what I needed to hear - finally. I was purchasing a text book for my first ever Communications class when I overheard a girl, arguably as salty as I was to be in line, dictating her friend to break up with her boyfriend. She unapologetically made the call in her friend's relationship, that was seemingly hanging by a feeble string of floss, to squash it stating, "if you can't stop thinking about it - just do it!"
Like, geez, I don't know this angsty girl, but she's not wrong. If you can't stop the thoughts of doubt and discomfort then, girl, WHAT are you doing? It's like playing the "why are you hitting yourself" game as a kid, but by yourself. Strange. Her anger inspired me. She was so angry at her friend for even considering to keep herself in such a negative space. However, I can relate to the girl in the relationship - there's quite a bit of grey area.
All last year I silently questioned myself:
What am I doing with my life? Am I even happy? Yeah, I lied, I'm fine.
I know these are very broad and common contemplations most people have at various stages in life, but I think that it's worth talking about - so don't roll your eyes yet. Until this summer, I lied to myself about my love for science. Having hip problems of my own, I told people that I was inspired to become an Orthopedic surgeon one day. I elaborated on how I thrilled I was to be able to help others in recovering from situations similar and even worse than my own. I went on about my passion for medicine and my eagerness for college science courses. I felt this persistent hype surrounding me and where I was going in life from my family, friends and community. I felt empowerment and support, but this quickly turned into anxiety and pressure as I realized the cold hard truth: I'm terrible at science. Furthermore, I don't enjoy it.
Pre-medical students around me were fascinated and intrigued in the courses, while I could barely get myself to make it to class (even my 11 A.M.s) - like c'mon. Nevertheless, I was persistent. I stressed to myself that I wasn't a quitter. Go blue. Hail to the victors. This was my dream. This was my dream.
Second semester I took a writing course that changed my life. I was excited to go to class for once. I went to office hours for once. I had a come to Jesus moment where I realized that in any class my favorite part was the writing component. Even if it was a Chemistry lab report, I always managed to finesse some pizzazz and personality into the final draft. It made my day if I could fit in some alliteration or onomatopoeia when discussing Galvanic half-cell combinations and electrodes to determine the path of electron flow. While my GSI was confused and concerned, for the first time I wasn't.
All last year I couldn't stop thinking about writing and other career possibilities. I couldn't stop thinking about creativity and inspiration. I couldn't stop, so I did it. A 180, that is. A switcharoo, if you will. Now a Communications major with a possible minor in Digital Media Studies or Creative Writing - or both!? - I couldn't be happier. I'm taking a Communications course, Digital Media Studies course and two writing courses: one on blogging and one on selfies - yes, SELFIES. They are simply fascinating. I'm eager everyday to go to class, do my homework and go to office hours. I am relishing in my element.
As I heard the ruthless girl in line, I felt firm, confident and excited in my decision to purchase my Communication book. In a pre-medical mass meeting I attended, the statistic was by sophomore year half of us would drop out of the program. If you asked me 6 months ago, I would have been embarrassed that I didn't stick with it - but I'll argue now that I was never really into it. In the bookstore line, I wrote down on my digital media class syllabus - the only paper I had - what I now consider to be the second golden rule*. I'll admit, I don't usually read the syllabus, but I'll never stop reading this one, thinking about it and doing it.
The very best,
*Always follow the first golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated!