I must confess. I don’t feel happy all of the time. Ok maybe a lot of the time. I sat down today to try and write out and investigate where this “unhappiness” comes from and why I sometimes feel this way.
The other day I woke up in an angry mood. I was frustrated, and it wasn’t even 8 AM yet. They say never to go to bed angry, and to the best of my recollection, I hadn’t. Sure, I wasn’t feeling great, but lately I hadn’t been. It had become my new normal. I was used to feeling bad? Why? Where was this feeling coming from and why did it seem to want to stay?
Like every other college kid who’s asked to choose a major at 18, I’ve dealt with a lot of unsureness and insecurity about my major. How would it get me to where I want to be? Where do I even want to be? Lately I’ve realized that this insecurity doesn’t directly stem from my choice of major, but rather from that bigger question of what my life will look like in five years, ten years, for the rest of my life.
I’ve struggled because it seems that no one is having is the same thoughts as me. They live blissfully unaware lives, or maybe they are aware and a.) are satisfied and maybe even in love with their major and their plans for their future OR b.) also have no idea what they’re doing or where they’re going and are struggling like me but aren’t showing it or are simply accepting the unknown. I used to be jealous of those first type of kids. Knowing what you want to do and achieve? Sign me up.
But I sat back and looked at myself. I’ve always considered myself an outsider. Not quite one thing and not quite the other. If I know this about myself, it makes sense that I’m unsure about where I’m going — I have so many different interests, so many different things I want to explore, so why can’t I just relax and accept this? Wouldn’t that be so much easier? Just to let my mind relax for once in my life? Definitely would be easier, but that’s not who I am.
My mind is designed to question things, designed to be curious, alert, and designed to investigate and create. Always has been, always will be. I can’t change these things about myself. And I wouldn’t want to, as frustrating as they can make my life.
What I’ve learned so far though is that my major doesn’t have to be who I am. I can do so many other things outside of classes that will make me an even more complete version of myself, whether it be writing, running, creating, or exploring things that might be a passion in hiding. Life can be so much more.
That’s not to say my quest to create an educational career tailor-fit to my mind and way of thinking is over — far from it. I’m thinking of declaring a minor and currently trying to limit my obligations and pursuits to things that I actually want to do and things that are actually serving to advance me. I’m learning how to say “No” and how to say “Yes” to opportunities that are meant for me.
So back to this feeling of unhappiness. Is it truly unhappiness that I’ve been feeling? No. More than likely my “unhappiness” has stemmed from feeling uncomfortable.
I don’t mind feeling uncomfortable when I know I’m learning and loving what I’m learning, and know that I’m in an academic and social atmosphere that is benefitting my mind and my overall well-being. Feeling this type of uncomfort is a sign of growth and change for the better; it indicates that I’m continuing to evolve, like a Pokémon.
Feeling uncomfortable all the time though, like this uncomfort that I’ve been feeling, most likely stems from this feeling of knowing that something isn’t right, because something does feel off, and it has for awhile. I’m continuing to evaluate what’s causing this feeling day after day, whether it be the way I’m conducting my studies and managing my time, my transition to in-person classes, or something else entirely.
What I’ve come to appreciate the most in the past few days though is this feeling that even though I am unsure about a lot of things, I’m sure about myself and my ability to define who I will be. I’m in the right environment to continue growing and learning, and it’s up to me to figure out how to maximize my time here and all this campus has to offer. One day at a time.