By: Ray Humienny ~Campus News Editor~
A part of growing up is realizing you’re not a kid anymore – physically, at least.
To attest to this, I’ve barred any media that contains the terms “graduation,” “adulthood” or “grace period” from entering my cerebral cortex. As an added precaution, I’ve figuratively buried myself with enough physical and mental labor this final semester to refrain from conceptualizing the end of undergraduate studies. Unfortunately, I burned out quickly, and I began to experience signs of early onset senioritis sometime in March. Luckily for me, my only symptom thus far consists of weekly “I can’t even” pings, usually rendering me academically inert for one or two hours.
Ironically, psychological exhaustion invokes cliché, internal reflection: Why am I an applied physics major with a concentration in Asian studies aiming to become a VICE News hipster?
If there’s anything I’ve learned from posing this question to myself time and time again, it’s that labeling is the gateway to stereotyping. I found myself at times loathing the idea of becoming a physicist confined to a laboratory simply because I put my imagination in the backseat. It took me four years to look past discrete principles and equations in order to realize that scientific creativity is equivalent to artistic expression.
As a result of this, I began to grow more appreciative of the things I actually loved doing, and slowly but surely, my apathy dissipated. However, with the decision to pursue an alternative career path came hard work and realizing that temporary sacrifices had to be made. I knew what I wanted to become but acknowledged the fact that I would still be crunching numbers.
And that’s really it, nothing special. But having the chance to continue journalism and communications in grad school is truly an opportunity like no other. I feel as though my work has paid off in some sense, though that might just be the senioritis talking. I know I’ve got a long way to go post-Xavier.
I’m honestly far from figuring out anything beyond my foreseeable future, as we all are. Namely because I’m still grappling with that question. It can wait, though. Besides, finding a concrete answer to it proves to be a big waste of time. There is absolutely no reason the remainder of this semester should be anything but an existential bitch fest.
Xavier has made me recognize so much potential within myself through the help of my friends, and I owe them the world in return. Without their help, I’d be stuck trying my hardest to become something I’m not, and I will always be grateful for that. I hope they know that despite my present grumpiness with my final-month workload, I certainly can’t wait to celebrate the end of senior year with them.
If I had to summarize my four years, I’d be summarizing everything my friends here taught me. From post-midnight IHOP trips to the late night Nerf battles in Buenger, I can say that I’ve surprisingly learned quite a bit about growing up (jump back to the reminder that I am certainly not a kid, physically speaking).
The most noteworthy bit of advice I’ve encountered from everyone I’ve met has been that you are not defined by one thing. Although it screams “Hallmark Card” on the cheesiness meter, I do not intend to undermine what I’ve learned from it. Don’t ever stop challenging what you presently are.
Take that Japanese class you’ve always been interested in, even though you’re a chemistry major. Go to O’Connor even if you haven’t the slightest idea what a macro is. Stop being sorry you don’t have the time and make the time instead. Once you do, you’ll begin to shape who you will become and live presently knowing that you’ve made a happier you.