We all have our good days and bad days. You wake up to a monsoon outside and a midterm and you can already tell it’s going to be a lousy one. But when your days are full to capacity with school, work, interviews, meetings, blog postings, family, friends, boyfriend, etc. a bad day can end up being bad x 100. And as you might have guessed, my bad days usually end with me upset and mad that my schedule is so full, that I am rushing through my college years, and that unlike normal kids my days are filled with work and school. While my bad days can be pretty bad, the opposite is true as well. My good days are usually outstanding. It is these days that keep me motivated and focused on my goals and dreams.
On my bad days I usually use the analogy of a surging, screaming freight train speeding out of control to describe my life. There is barely enough room on the train for the things most important to me, let alone any luxuries. Most of the “fun stuff” I would like to take part in as a college student is left behind, as my train (or my life) speeds by frantically trying to keep up with all the demands. A misconception that people have of me is that I have it all together, that I have all the answers, and that I am always happy. On bad days it is easy to see that this is not the case.
Last week was a week filled with bad days. The week before spring break included midterms, midterm papers and assignments, prep interviews and real interviews for the J.K. Watson Fellowship (which I applied for in January), and increased hours at work because of the upcoming holiday, not to mention no promise of a vacation in the coming spring break because crazy work hours start this week in anticipation of Easter. I felt like a pinball bouncing from work to midterm to prep interview to studying to class to work to reviewing for my interview. And then my bad day got worse. Wednesday night a friend text messaged me wanting to talk, and it crushed me. I had work for another two hours after which I was squeezing in fifteen minutes with my boyfriend before two hours of studying for Thursday’s midterm and then reviewing for my interview for about an hour before bed, because I had to be on a 7 am bus in the morning heading to John Jay. I had not talked to this friend in two weeks because I had been so busy, and it was beginning to ware on me. I was tired and frustrated with my schedule. I promised I would call him next week, and he replied that we both knew that was not true, which it was not. Next week I would be working non-stop with little time to sleep, let alone talk to him. It was disheartening and discouraging. I felt as if I needed to choose between our friendship and my goals. For a second I hated that my life is so packed full with so many responsibilities and priorities.
Flash forward to Monday morning. I had had my Watson Fellowship interview the past Friday and replayed it over and over in my mind, ultimately convincing myself that I had messed it up. I thought that there was no way I had gotten the fellowship, an undergraduate fellowship put together by the Watson Foundation. (The fellowship provides three summer internships in New York City and abroad, cultural events, seminars, and a $17,000 stipend.) I reluctantly turned on my laptop to check my emails for the results. What I found was an acceptance letter from the director of the fellowship, Frank Wolf. Needless to say, it was a great day.
What I have come to find in my past two years of working and going to John Jay is that there are always bad days. No matter how positive I try to be there will always be days when I question my life choices. For instance, on Thursday night when I was reading for my sociology class and studying for my interview the next day I thought that my week would have been so much easier if I did not have my Watson interview looming at the end of it. Ironically, my life is easier now that I am a Watson fellow, not to mention more exciting, too. We take on many things in our lives, we are busy, and we get discouraged. However, if we can keep in mind why we take on so many things, our goals, and our dreams we usually wake up the next morning to sunshine and a better day than yesterday. One of my favorite song lyrics reads, “What’s the use in complaining? I’ll pretend the sun is shining enough though I know it’s raining. It’s all fun and games until I lose my mind. But, I made it this far, I’ll be fine.”
I hope everyone did well on their midterms last week and is currently enjoying this very rainy spring break. For those of you in warm distant vacation spots, I envy you :). While I intended to post this over the weekend, I was detained by spring cleaning, the topic of this weekend’s post so please do tune in. Until then enjoy your holiday and your 20 seconds of procrastination (shorter this week, because who needs procrastination on spring break?) by clicking here.