“As I put on my pajamas and lie at home all day watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother, I can physically feel the little flutters of time swoosh by.”
“I’m not here to say vague words of motivation like ‘Follow your passion and you’ll never face another obstacle in life.’"
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!! You’ve dragged yourself out of bed on those horrifying Mondays for 12 years. Finally you get a day where you don’t have to wake up at 6:45.
Now for my speech:
We’re eighteen. We’re at the beginning of the best time of our lives and it’s incredibly sad. It’s sad that our best times of our lives come at us at a time when we’re not sure of anything. I still have some remnants of a late night physics study session, and can probably tell you all of Newton’s laws. But other than that, we basically know nothing. We’re not sure of our future, our feelings and definitely not sure of our dreams… heck, I don’t even know what a dream is. We barely made it through that annoying college application process where they ask us the most difficult and annoying questions.
When we were kids, we knew what flavor of cake we wanted, what shoes to wear for the day and whether we wanted to take that nap or not. We were so decisive then. Somehow, as of now, all that I’m sure of is that I’m wasting time. As I put on my pajamas and lie at home all day watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother, I can physically feel the little flutters of time swoosh by. There are so many things I could be doing, should be doing- not just things that would be deemed as ‘productive’ or ‘educational,’ but ACTUAL things I want to do. I started writing a book, but I’m only 8 pages in and now I’m stuck. I should be spending my last few precious days in China conversing with my parents, going outside to bathe in the rare sunshine or even reading an interesting blog, but no. I sit and I do nothing. I sit and I waste time.
Although there are so many of you listening to this thinking ‘OH GOD, THAT’S ME’ but still scared to admit it to others or even yourself… it’s not THAT BAD. It’s not that bad. You’re not the only one that hasn’t changed out of your pajamas for days and only took a proper bath for this graduation. You’re not the only one that’s given the excuse ‘but omg I’m so lazy lately. Plus I’m so tired from having studied for 12 years straight…’
IT’S FINE. IT’S FINE. YOU’RE FINE.
I’m not here to say vague words of motivation like ‘FOLLOW YOUR PASSION AND YOU’LL NEVER FACE ANOTHER OBSTACLE IN LIFE.’ In fact, I have a feeling most of you don’t even know what you’re passionate about. But what I do want to say is that it’s absolutely fine to feel confused and completely dumbfounded by everything around you.
People say that college is a new chapter of your life, a fresh start. As idyllic that sounds, people usually don’t get a fresh start in life. Pretend you’re 97 years old and you’re looking back on your life. What would you like to see? If you were 97 years old now, would you be happy with the life you’ve lived so far? Don’t strive for a perfect life. Don’t strive for a collection of only happy memories. Don’t strive for a large salary, don’t strive for a career that would make your parents happy, don’t strive for a 4.0 GPA. Strive for the strength to get out of those pajamas, take a decent shower, strut out your door and do something you truly enjoy, you truly love and something you’d do even if no one would ever know about it.
Strive to do things for yourself. Forget everyone and just do it for yourself. Live the life you’d never change, because when you’re 97 years old, all you should be thinking is how proud of yourself you are, how worthwhile your life was.
Photo courtesy of BISS