“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” – Benjamin E. Mays
I forget who, but an upperclassman once told my freshman self that “no matter how long it takes to reach your goals… do it. Walk, crawl, bite, and fight ever moment of your way to where you want to be.” At the time, those words did not impact me as they do now. When we were freshmen, the world was so vast and new. It was a new start and a brand new world for many of us.
Yet as important as that advice was, there were still hundreds of lessons that were learned along the way. Here are some of the things I have learned in the last few years:
• If you haven’t broken anything in a lab, you haven’t learned anything at all. – ECE Class
• Don’t get involved with crazy. – Theta Chi Proverb
• Don’t eat Pizza after midnight, you’ll gain weight. – RA Advice
• If your roommate wears your jeans, get a new one for next semester. – Freshmen Conversations
• Sleep in once in a while, seriously. You haven’t slept in three days. – Upperclassman Advice
• Separate personals and professionals, you’ll learn one day. – Professor in Sophomore Year
• Experience everything before you say anything about it.
• There is a difference between fresh water and salt water fishing – Sophomore Advice
• Do you. Be you.
• Make other girls jealous of your girlfriend. – Girl on a subway at 3 AM
• Say it. Don’t regret not saying what you want to say. – Ex-Friend
• The old me won’t betray the new me. – Air Gear
• Your friends will buy you drinks, make you smile, and beat you up when you need it.
• Calculus 2 is hard. Like really hard. – First Semester Warning
• People will come and go. The longer you hold onto them, the more difficult it will be to part.
• No one is truly altruistic, but that does not mean they do not wish to do good.
• Rain is so beautiful when you’re sitting on the window sill, under an umbrella, or singing in it. – Best Friend
• Eat new foods, read different genres, buy weird things, and date a variety of people. – Professor in Junior Year
• Chocolate will make you feel better. – Prof. Ascarelli
• Marvel is better than D.C. – Marvel Fans Everywhere
• People get angry because they are scared and they don’t know what’s going on. – My Advice to NJIT, please inform your constituents.
• People don’t listen; they think about what they’re going to say next.
• Listen. Say Yes. Make the other person look better than you. – Improv Class
• Be good. Don’t die. – Me
• League of Legends will take up a lot of your time. A LOT. – Everyone at NJIT
And even with all these lessons learned, the experiences and laughter shared defined the path that my feet have walked. Everyone, whether it takes three and a half years or ten, have walked their own road and created their own truths and happiness. Never in our lives should we look back and regret a thing we have done, but instead look forward and smile at the things that we have done.
And it’ll never be too late. As long as you are breathing, your life is your own. Stand up and move forward. Otherwise you would have betrayed everyone who pushed you until now and most importantly you would have betrayed yourself. Even in tenuous times and the most disparaging of storms, move forward knowing that in a day, week, month, or year that you are going to look back at everything you have experienced and laugh.
Six years later, I still smile.