Things I Wish I Knew In Undergrad (I.e. Letter To My Younger Self)

Dear Younger Anu

There’s a lot of things you’re trying to figure out right now.  Life as you know it is changing, and you’re just trying to understand it all.  I know this.  But I just wanted to clarify a few things for you, and hopefully make you feel less insecure about your decisions.

  1. You’re wondering if you are truly passionate about Civil Engineering, and you’re considering switching majors for this reason.  Here’s the problem: unfortunately, you’ve never really been passionate about anything yet so you don’t even know what that feels like.  Speaking from experience, there will be a point when you get up every morning, and you’re just stoked to be doing what you’re doing.  You don’t feel that way about concrete, but guess what, other people do.  So no, Civil Engineering is not your passion.  HOWEVER, don’t change majors.  You’re gathering a useful skill set that is going to help you throughout your life.  You are learning how to approach and solve problems.  It’s a big deal.  Yes, I know the fact that you’re not at the top of your class kills you (no matter how hard you try).  But here’s the thing: in order to be at the top of your class, you have to truly be great at what you do.  How do you do that?  Passion+ Hard Work= Greatness.  You have the hard work, but you lack the passion.  It’s fine.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  Just remember that C’s get degrees, and you really can’t be great at things you are passionate about.  Trust me when I say you will find the thing that you want to spend all your time doing, and will feel like the world makes sense.  It all works out in the end.  Just…don’t set the wrong expectations for yourself. Be happy!
  2. You’re worried because you really don’t feel the need to date people…at all.  And when you do, it’s just really awkward and you would much rather be doing other things.  You’re wondering if at some point in your life, you will actually want to be in a relationship, or if this is just how most people feel when they date, or if that time when you want to date people will ever come.  You’re wondering if that’s normal, or if there’s just something wrong with you.  Here’s the thing: it may not be normal, but that’s not a bad thing.  What is normal anyway? And is the “average” person even happy?  Trust me when I say at some point, you will think that dating is important.  It’s not important to you yet, and that’s totally fine.  College is one of those unique opportunities where a bunch of really amazing people are thrown together and you get to form meaningful relationships with the people that you get along best with. Those actually last a really long time, and they will become incredibly important to you in the future.  Keep doing what you’re doing-  you just focus on figuring out who you are and finding out what you want to be doing in life.  I promise that when you actually start living your dreams, it makes room in your life for other things.
  3. You’re wondering if you will ever stop being awkward.  Unfortunately, that will never change.  However, it’s really a blessing in disguise because it serves as a reminder to NEVER take yourself, or life, too seriously.  Life is too short not to enjoy it, and you most definitely need lots of laughs along the way (even if it is at your own expense).

I think the most important thing to realize is that in the game of life, there’s no real right or wrong way to win.  The only thing that really matters (and the way you know if you’re doing what you should be doing) is gauging how happy you are.  If you’re getting up feeling ridiculously happy 6/7 days of the week, you’re probably on track to win it all.

So in the end, just trust your gut and keep doing it- no matter how different it is.

Much Love,

Your older (and hopefully wiser) self

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