College didn’t teach me everything I should know, but surely I’m not alone in having these significant realizations to share — apart from knowing that Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

These are “lessons” that I can’t easily discuss out in the open, but instead, probably pass on as a set of guidelines to the new set of youngsters.

So take these with a grain of salt:

5. Friends come and go  

Probably the earliest, but the hardest pill to swallow.

Back in high school, I had a clique that I highly favored more than *shudder* a boyfriend. This goes without saying but they gave me happiness and a sense of adventure — something I believed I lacked as a child.

We had the best of times, yes, but as soon as College happened the inevitable also followed. We grew apart, but it doesn’t mean that the friendship wasn’t real.

The good thing is some friendships were sustained, which made me more appreciative of the word friendship.

4. I don’t have to fit in all the time

Putting on a brave face despite feeling like a crumbling biscuit — now that’s an important skill one should learn to survive College or even life. But pretending to be happy all the time, especially just to please people, is just unhealthy.

Having been in two courses, (shifted from Architecture to Mass Comm) I had many times when I just broke down. I bottled too many feelings inside that it rolled out of me as an ugly beast.

Forcing myself to smile just to become a good company for others just didn’t work. Faking it until making it didn’t work its magic on me.

I realized I had shut down to recharge. Besides, what’s wrong with being sad?

All I needed was a good cry and a good meal — and I was ready to try again.

3. Family will always have my back

No matter how much we argued, it was still them who backed me up whenever I felt like I was ready to give up. Again.

The thought of graduating two years later than my high school batchmates always pulled me down and thinned my self-confidence.

Behind my facade, I was afraid that I would just remain a shadow of my old self.

Thankfully, my family cheered me up by always appreciating my achievements without unnecessary freebies like passive-aggressive judgment and side comments. However, they don’t sugarcoat things as well.

They may not have provided me all the things I needed, but their unconditional love has always made me realize they are my home whenever I’d get lost.

2. Being single in College is absolutely o-fucking-kay

Toss out the “How to Get Him” articles because being single in College is incredibly okay.

There’s this anxiety in College students to have a significant other or else they can’t feel their worth as a person. Not all of them, but it’s just what I really observed in some students. Well, to be fair, relationships are nice to have. But truth be told it’s not the be all, end all of life.

When I was single, I did feel lonely at times, seeing all the sweet and PDA couples on Facebook, Instagram, literally everywhere. Despite that empty feeling, I didn’t quench the thirst by having short-term relationships.

It just felt wrong to invest me in something that will only crash in the end — just to feel that momentary bliss.

From a distance, being single in College gave me a lot of time to reflect on my wants and needs in a relationship and my career, which led me to realize…

1. Who I really am 

If I took away all of this stuff: the materialistic dreams, the hobbies, the fandoms, people’s opinion of me, and idealistic ventures, all that would be left is this: doing what I love — writing.

Being a writer is not my identity — but who I am is me doing what I love.

I may not yet be an expert for now, but I’m taking things at my own pace. I’m not in a hurry.

After all, doing what I love means the love is in the doing.

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