Things Change

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.

The couch I cried on when I was eight! It looks much more menacing in the dark.

The couch I cried on when I was eight. It looks much more menacing in the dark.

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.

My top two! This is like the Bachelor, except with colleges. Never mind, not even going to try with that simile...

My top two! This is like The Bachelor, except with colleges. Never mind, not even going to try with that simile…

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.

Beast Boy and Terra in the last episode of my favorite childhood show.

Beast Boy and Terra in the last episode of my favorite childhood show.

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!

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19 Comments

Filed under Personal

19 responses to “Things Change

  1. Beautifully said. And please note: “You have to be yourself. Be very honest about who and what you are. If people still like you, that’s fine. If not, that’s their problem.” – Sting

  2. I don’t think failure is ever a bad thing. Failure is as natural as it is to grow up. As human beings we need to fail because that is how we get ourselves back up again. It’s where we learn the most valuable lessons. It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where failure is frowned upon when failure is what leads to success. The one constant thing in life is change. We keep changing regardless of us noticing it. But yes you’re right that we have a choice and I truly admire you for your principles. I don’t drink alcohol for personal reasons and it surprises people.

    I never watched Teen Titans, but I watched Young Justice. I would highly recommend Avatar: The Last Air bender if you haven’t seen it yet. It was a great cartoon which had so many life lessons.

    Good Luck on your exams Thomas!. Whichever university you choose, you’ll know what’s best for you :).

    • You’re right, failure does allow us to succeed by making us learn from out mistakes and move on. I’m glad there’s someone else out there (even though I’m sure there are a myriad of others) who don’t drink alcohol for personal reasons.

      My friend and I are watching Young Justice now! Also Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favorite shows – water bending for the win! (:

      Thank you for your continued support and I hope you have a great rest of the week.

      • It’s very hard to come by people who don’t drink-especially between the ages of 18-23, but I don’t mind being that odd one out :). I have fun in different ways.

        I’m so happy to discover another ATLAB Fan! Did you watch Legend of Korra as well? I think I always preferred earth bending for some reason. I think it might be because Toph and Bumi are two of my favourite characters. Have you read the Graphic Novels?

        And you’re welcome :). I’m always happy to cheer on people! I hope you enjoy your week as well!

        • I have fun in different ways as well! Also, yes, I did watch Legend of Korra – I can’t wait for the second season (I think there will be a second season… right?) Toph and Bumi were quite cool, but Katara will always have my heart. I haven’t read the graphic novels just because I don’t read graphic novels much in general, though I’ve heard good things about them! Have you?

          • Ahaha I believe the second season of Legend of Korra will come out sometime this summer. That’s what I’ve heard. I know the first season of LoK will be released in July. I think all the characters in ATLAB were awesome in their own ways. Uncle Iroh was such a great character. I have the first Graphic novel, but I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I feel like I have really high expectations lol.

  3. I remember watching Teen Titans. That show was the bomb

  4. I’m gonna miss you </3

    Just so you know, the other day FlanMan was going off about you for like 10 minutes.
    In as best as I can remember and quote:
    "Thomas is my favorite definitely. From the moment he walked in my class the first day I knew he was gonna pass the test. And what's better, he likes the subject, he likes to learn. He was intrinsically motivated and that just makes my job as a teacher worth while. He's an interesting one, but he's really the best. And I'm so proud of him; my boy is choosing between William & Mary and U-Penn right now! Awesome schools. No matter where that boy goes he's going to succeed because he works for it and he deserves it."
    That's as best as my memory will serve me, but he's right. You're amazing and you will have a good future because you work hard and you deserve it.
    Also Beast Boy is hot what.

    • Aw I will miss you too! And it’s certainly an ego boost to know my one of my favorite teachers still likes me after a year gone by. (: Here’s to our future successes – we both work hard and we deserve it no matter what!

      Also, I never really found any of the Teen Titans characters attractive… but we’re all entitled to our opinions.

  5. It’s odd how I can exactly empathise with many of your feelings in this post. I moved away from all my friends when I was 9, halfway across the world, and even now I too wonder what they’re doing or what my life would have been like if I’d continued schooling with them. We’re also Facebook friends, but we no longer really know each other, and now I think it’s a connection built more on nostalgia than anything. 😦 Instead of Calculus I spend hours revising Philosophy to gain a C in the first exam, which for me was a big change in realising that yeah, education is no longer ‘easy.’ Even that left me uncertain about myself for a while, but I’ve decided to keep trying.

    Teen Titans is one of my favourite series; it’s the only show where I went out and bought every season plus the Tokyo movie. 😉 (Have you heard about the new series? Starts this month! ^_^ ) For a long time, I hated that episode where Beast Boy passes Tara, and lets her go, because I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand why he didn’t chase after her, and tell her their past. But you’re right; sometimes letting go is the answer. Things change, and life is a continuous process of change (although you’re also correct in that there are some constants), and if we only look back all the time, then we’ll never get to where we want to go. We certainly do have to make our own choices, and I’m glad I won’t be the only one not drinking at university (high five)! Don’t worry about procrastinating a little bit. You’ve earned it, and you will get focused again. You’ve got work to do, but this is your last hurdle and then you’re (relatively) free. 😀 Good luck with the exams and the revision!

    • I’m so glad that you’re continuing to try in Philosophy and in academics in general! While it must be bittersweet to have your old acquaintances as Facebook friends, I feel like it’s a great benefit that you can stay in touch with them or even just maintain contact with them from so far away.

      Woo for finding another Teen Titan fan and another individual whose mind has changed regarding the last episode! Can’t wait for when you’ll be writing about (or just receiving) your acceptances as well… good luck to you too and thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. You probably meant this to be a rhetorical question but I’ll answer it anyway.
    ‘And I can’t help but wonder – what if I go to one school when I was meant to go to another?’
    I believe that the things that are sometimes beyond our control happens for a reason. Perhaps you had a bad day when you wrote that test. What if you were meant to go the same school you eventually attended? How have the people you met there influenced your life? Could you imagine life with out them?
    Sometime, and believe me when I say I have no idea when, it’s these bad turn of events make you realize that what you had wanted at the time wasn’t really in fact what you really want in the end. Different roads may lead to the same destination once you bend what resources you have to your will and remain determined you will eventually get there, but of course you’ll make it, I know you will.

    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 just loved how you said that, because it will happen and it’s good to brace yourself and knowing what you’re about.

    Congrats on getting accepted to those collages! Rock on, Thomas 😉

    • Devina thanks so much for the support! I love how you supplement your comments with such wise words, like these…

      “…it’s these bad turn of events make you realize that what you had wanted at the time wasn’t really in fact what you really want in the end. Different roads may lead to the same destination once you bend what resources you have to your will and remain determined you will eventually get there, but of course you’ll make it…”

      You’re right – in the end, things will work out just as they were supposed to, especially with the aid of hard work and perseverance. I am where I am now for a reason, and I’ll get to where I’m supposed to be. Thank you for reading and commenting as always.

  7. Phil Martin

    Teen Titans was such an awesome show. I really wish the dramatic 2003 series didn’t end in 2006. Then, I wish the show didn’t end with such a depressing cliff-hanger like “Things Change”.

    • It is such an awesome show! And yeah, I wish the show had continued as well, but I suppose all good things must come to an end… and, I guess we can agree to disagree regarding “Things Change”. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  8. This is a great inspirational post!

    ‘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? ‘ – That is exactly how I felt about having to choose where I wanted to go! I still think back on it a lot now and wonder if I came to the right place. But sometimes it’s just impossible to know everything,

    Good luck. 🙂

    • Thanks Becky! Yeah, there comes a point when pondering about the past doesn’t help the future any longer – then, it’s too much. Hope you’re doing well!

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