Senior Wisdom: Tempus Fugit, Carpe Diem (Latin for YOLO)
Blogger: Laurel Cox
Hello everyone!! It’s been a while!! As we reach the halfway point of the semester, I feel like I—along with all the other seniors—am faced with two conditions: extreme nostalgia and extreme denial. It has been (and will continue to be) a semester of “lasts” for me. Last recruitment, last class registration, last spring break, last semester of college. BUT! Rather than focus on what everyone knows is coming and can’t help but talk about (GRADUTATION!!!), I’d rather reflect on the things I’ve learned in these four wonderful years at Occidental. So here I present to you some of my senior wisdom. I even made pictures \^o^/
1. It’s never too late to change your mind.
Ok, for some things, sometimes it is too late, such as trying to return a bag of apples you’ve already eaten. But this concept is something I’ve been reflecting on recently. I finished my comps last semester (Woooooo hoooooooo), so this semester I’ve gotten to just take classes I want to take without worrying about fulfilling requirements. Of course, a lot of my classes (by which I mean half) apply towards my major and minor anyway, but my other two classes are in areas outside my major. One of them is a musical theatre class, which really is a throwback to my high school years. Way back in the way back of high school I actually started looking at schools in LA because I thought I wanted to go into theatre as a major. While my path went a different direction, I still I love theatre and singing. The other class I’m taking is “What is Enlightenment?”, which is a Religious Studies class. It’s fascinating, and also quite different from any class I’ve ever taken. Even though I love History and Philosophy, and don’t at all regret my decision to focus on those subjects, there are so many wonderful and interesting majors at Oxy. If only I could stay in school forever and study them all.
2. Don’t let “perfect” become the enemy of good
This is one I’m still working on, actually. I tend to be a perfectionist, but I have to remind myself that there really is no such thing as perfect. The fear of failure can be paralyzing, and in the end worrying about falling short of “perfect” can get in the way of making something awesome. Another way of phrasing this is “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?” which is inspirational, but is hard to imagine. In any case, the sentiment is the same: what matters is that you do the best you can do and that you try, not the outcome. Which leads me to number three…
3. Don’t worry if you get off track; the track was imaginary, anyway
I think everybody has had the experience of things turning out differently than they thought they would. I know it has happened to me many a time. This can be discouraging, but take heart! We are fallible, and our plans can’t account for everything. This little tidbit of advice isn’t to say that you shouldn’t make plans; by all means, plan your future! But if your life goes “off track”, consider that it’s not the end of the world. You’re not a train, so you can just keep on chugging along. Which reminds me…
4. Always have a backup plan. Or three.
In light of the fact that plans have a tendency to fall through, have a plan B! And a plan C! Heck, I’d say even have a plan Z, which is what you do in case the Zombie Apocalypse breaks out. Just saying. Just because it’s the “backup plan”, though, doesn’t make it in anyway inferior. In fact, sometimes plan D ends up being even more exciting and fulfilling than plan A. For example, in my sophomore year, some of my housing plans fell through. I won’t go into details, but for reasons I didn’t know where I was going to live. But then! My friend Leah approached me and said she was trying to organize a themed living community around animals and pets. And now here we are; I’ve lived in Pet House for two years now, and it’s been one of the best things that’s happened to me at Oxy. I don’t really want to say Pet House was my “plan b”, because as soon as I found out about it, Pet house was what I wanted most. But you get the point (I hope). For a much more drawn out and eloquent representation of this advice, I recommend Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot of books.
5. Never Say no to a nap.
Do I really need to explain this one? I don’t think so. Naps are great. Here’s some science if you don’t believe me. And by science, I mean Buzzfeed.
6. Life is an open door; you just have to walk through
Okay, I might be paraphrasing Disney here a little bit, but the point is this: there are so many opportunities in life. All you have to do is take them. Sometimes it’s scary if you have to go out on a limb, or if you aren’t sure if things will turn out, but you know, generally speaking it’s better to regret doing something than regret not doing something.
In all honesty, I’m still learning most of these things. Knowing and doing are two very different actions, and I don’t mean to sound pretentious by saying “do this and you’ll do fine”. If I had any small piece of advice, it would be don’t stress the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff). These four years have gone by in a flash. I can’t believe it’s all winding down, but the things I’ve learned here will stick with me for life. But I still have 11 weeks, so let’s not get too sentimental yet.
As per tradition, here’s a funny video to make you smile. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItKrnhvALc4
Also, here’s a link for some catharsis. I recommend visiting at least once daily. http://www.eelslap.com/