I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Every film and show alike has an incredibly unrealistic portrayal of university living. Unlike Rory Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls,” my grandparents are not paying for my tuition nor naming a building after me. Quite frankly, college is the opposite of perfect. In other words, it’s quite messy. It’s an extreme understatement to say that the lives of college students are nothing less than chaotic. The other day, I had two pieces of chocolate for lunch because I didn’t have the time to grab an actual meal before class. See what I mean?
Although life as a college student is a bit on the unpredictable side of things, it doesn’t mean it’s all bad. There certainly is some beauty to be found. Oh, the contradiction. Perhaps it’s the media we should blame for our constant desire to pretend like we know what we’re doing. It’s the same timeline everywhere: go to college, graduate, go into a career that pays well but that you’re passionate about and you’re set. But what’s often neglected are the spaces in between. It’s these spaces that are not so picture-perfect. However, more often than not, it’s these moments that are the most formative.
I still haven’t the slightest idea of how I want my life to look like after these next 3 ½ years. Will sociology be my declared major after all? Will I have the same ambitions as I do now? There’s a plethora of questions that remain unanswered today. These exact questions may be answered in a year from now or maybe not — but that’s okay.
In this so-called Berkeley bubble, it can be easy to shift into the ideology that we should have the rest of our lives planned. Frankly, it’s unreasonable for 18, 19, 20-something-year-olds to have it figured out. It’s completely normal to feel lost or confused. Pretending that you aren’t confused soon becomes difficult to manage as the facade eventually will wear off. This is not to say that you shouldn’t plan or have goals for yourself. This, of course, is undeniably important. What I’m saying here is that there’s something blissful about learning as you go. Accepting the ugliness of the mess and moving forward. From whichever way you’re looking at it, the only constant in our lives is change. Change is inevitable and messy — however, I wouldn’t alter a thing — and neither should you.
Alumni of any given college often like to say that their university years were some of the best years of their lives. I think this is a common phrase for a reason. We are all in the same boat — whether it’s sinking or coasting by is up for discussion. Regardless, there’s something comforting knowing that we have the rest of our lives to identify our purpose. It’s the reason why we’re at UC Berkeley, isn’t it?
This all goes to say that you too can make even the most chaotic of moments into something beautiful. All it takes is a matter of perspective and a little practice.
Contact Anyssa Torres at [email protected].