My fists beat against the couch. Tears sting the scars on my face. Nothing matters anymore, now that I’ve failed. I didn’t get in. I didn’t pass the test. I didn’t get in. It’s time to say goodbye. I’ll never see my friends again. The bonds I’ve made, the lives I’ve touched, the games I’ve played – gone, forever.
I was only eight when my life changed.
Contrary to popular belief,
I actually did have friends at least once in my lifetime I’m really not as smart as some of my peers make me out to be. In the second grade I took a test to gain admission into a “gifted and talented” program at my elementary school. Unfortunately, I failed, so I had to go to a different school. Like any spoiled little kid, I felt like my life had fallen apart. I remember crying for days, unaware of the bright lights that would shine later on in my life.
Sometimes I see status updates on Facebook from the friends I was separated from at eight, and I wonder what my life would’ve been like if I had stayed at my old school. It’s weird for me because, almost ten years later, I’m now choosing which college to attend. And I can’t help but wonder – what if I go to one school when I was meant to go to another? What if I go to X University while my future super intelligent and therefore sexy soul mate goes to another? As a perfectionist who likes to plan things out, it’s scary to know that one decision could derail all of my ambitions. It’s hard to jump when there’s no ground beneath you.
Humans like constancy. Part of us craves routine, a home to come back to, a familiar face amidst millions of strangers. Imagine going to school with a different schedule every day, or having a job with absolutely no consistency. Change, on any scale, can be hard to deal with – it can lead to depression and other diseases. It can change your life into a hollow shell of what you used to know and love.
While almost nothing stays the same, there are a few things that appear constant. Imagine adversity. You deal with it all your life in different forms, even in the smallest of ways. I support gay rights, but several of my peers and the people I know think gays should go to hell. I derive and integrate and stay up past midnight to learn Calculus, but on my last test I got a B-. I try to recycle, but my mom always throws out my plastic before I can, even when there’s no extra charge for recycling where I live. Adversity appears ubiquitous, and yet it’s constantly changing, shedding its skin and slinking into new ones.
But there’s one concept that doesn’t change. To me, it’s the one that matters the most: choice. You. Yourself. Your choice. Because you always have the ability to control how you think about things and how you react to them. Even when everything changes and nothing stays the same, you will have yourself to fall back on. It’s tough to deal with all the poop life gives you, all the pain and hardship and struggling, but you have your strength, your resolve, your morals.
When I go to college and people pressure me to drink, I’m not going to, even if I face ostracization or embarrassment. Not because I think every single person who drinks is immoral, but because that’s who I am. That’s my choice. And, really, we all have choices. You don’t have to be the school slut or go into Business because your parents want you to or marry the girl you’ve dated for twenty years who you don’t love anymore. It’s your choice.
Things change. In the end, it’s all about choosing to keep what you want – and letting go of what you don’t.
I was inspired to write this after watching the last episode (also titled “Things Change”) of one of my childhood shows, Teen Titans. I’m watching the episodes out of order and I don’t want to spoil anything, but basically in the last episode one of the Titans realizes that things really do change, even though it hurts. I would fanboy the show even more – please comment or send me a message if you want to geek out over it together, ah! – but I’m afraid I would never stop if I started.
I almost never watch television, so the fact that I’m watching old episodes of this show isn’t exactly a good sign. I have six major exams to take in May, several blog posts to publish ( like book reviews and college-centered posts), as well as requests (this makes me sound popular… but I’m not. Please send me things to write about.) Irrespective of such trials, I hope to hear from you guys soon, and I also hope you’re all enjoying the warm weather!