Today is the day our lives begin. Today is the day we will build our future. How many times have we heard these phrases over and over, repeated incessantly by our moms, our dads, our teachers and our friends? But what do they really mean? My life began the day I was born, and every single day afterward has been a journey filled with new places and new experiences. I can never tell, and I will never be able to tell, what waits for me the next day. The future is unpredictable; we can’t control it. But we can direct it. We can aim for what we want and what we like to do. We can have goals in life. But all of this sounds too good. So, how about this? We will take life day by day. We will expect everything, because anything can happen. Let us look forward to the next day to come, as tomorrow is the future. Let us hope that we will get thrown in the fountain on our birthdays, even if it is January and it is freezing outside. Let us hope to just take the exam already, like a quick and painless Band-Aid (a 50-minute-long Band-Aid). Let us dream about Tuesday cheesecake in Mabee from our freshman year, and wish that someday it will come back.
These are the kinds of experiences that we can look forward to. These are the experiences from which we can grow. A wise and honorable person once told me: if you plant some seeds, only you will be able to harvest them in the future. But in order to do this, you need to provide those seeds water, sunlight, nutrients and, yes, love. Put love in everything you do, even if you think that it will not matter. My father told me this when I was a little kid and I have held on to it every day.
There is not a day that I can look back at my life at Trinity and say: today was just like yesterday. Every day is different. Every day is a challenge. But this is the purpose of life. Change is good; it is what keeps us going. Who remembers the 2012 blackout our sophomore year, and having to study outside in the hall, attempting to read our notes and textbooks with a flashlight or the lights in the hall? Or looking back at this year and ordering your cap and gown, buying your diploma frame and thinking, “Is college really over?” It felt like just yesterday when you were making multiple trips to your car to move your stuff into your new room. It felt like yesterday when we went to Coates Caper to share fun times with our new roommates and suitemates. But then again, let us not forget about all-nighters, which are an essential part of the college experience. At the end, when you saw the product of your endless all-nighters, your hard work and effort, you felt accomplished. This was the moment you knew you did something right. So, don’t ever let that feeling go away. Hold on to it and let it be the source of your motivation.
All of these memories encourage us to make new memories in the future. They are the ones that pushed me to study abroad last semester. During my time there, I learned more about myself and other people. But I also reflected on my life here at Trinity, and how privileged and lucky we are to be able to have Trinity as a part of our lives.
As an international student, I took a leap when I was 18 years old. I ventured into this great journey of coming to college in the United States. I left my home, my family, my friends and all of the little things that made my day more comfortable. I was scared, but excited at the same time. Needless to say, it is the best decision I have made so far. So, go out, get your memories, get motivated, push yourself, seek a challenge and change your life. There are many different ways to go about this. You may choose the path that suits you, whether that path involves going to graduate school, law school medical school, or taking a gap year.
Just take your time, take a deep breath, and live each moment. And for those of you who are undecided or still feel that you don’t like anything, or who like everything but feel that maybe you do not have what it takes, well, there is no right time, and there is no right answer. It is scary not knowing what to expect or what will happen. So, as I once heard: today, if you become frightened, instead become inspired.