“God, give us the reason
Youth is wasted on the young.”
-from “Lost Stars” by Adam Levine
Youth is meant to be wasted. We are explorers, not necessarily knowing which direction we are going to take. But this is natural. Sometimes we walk into a thornbush. Here, I would like to share some lessons I learned after coming to college.
Have big dreams, avoid complacency.
To me, one of the biggest obstacles after getting into Berkeley was complacency. Finishing off my four years of high school life seemed to be the end of a difficult period, so I was satisfied with just attending the university and getting a degree. Later, I realized that weak motivation yields poor academic and life performance. Meanwhile, many of my friends were still hungry for further goals and transferred to their dream schools such as Columbia. Don’t stop dreaming even if you think you have reached your goal. Dream bigger to become a bigger person.
Don’t be afraid.
Now you have become over 18, officially an adult. This definitely gives you more social pressure and responsibilities. You might feel fearful or burdened, but this legal boundary doesn’t mean as much as we think. You are still the same person, and there is no reason to be afraid of anything. Social responsibilities, to be honest, don’t matter unless you commit crime. Stay brave.
Do not have stereotypes.
Lots of stereotypes may lay in your minds. For example, even before you try, you might think that you are not fit to do art, science, or other kinds of fields. But try it. Find out for sure. There are unexpected, super interesting fields that you have been missing out on for the entirety of your life. Another example would be cultural stereotypes. I used to have an extremely negative view on Korean senior-junior relationships because I have heard notorious stories of seniors’ strict, unreasonable treatment to juniors. However, my stereotypes were proven wrong. So many seniors are actually warm-hearted, friendly and helpful. Get rid of your stereotypes and never stop exploring.
Try to be an expert at something.
Try a lot of things, and find your interest. Then the next step is to dig down more of whatever it is. If you are really passionate about something, studying about it or taking a job in that field will be entertaining. Unconsciously, you will turn out to be an expert. In my case, I found investment attractive, so I started throwing countless questions to my friends and to myself in order to find the answer. The thrill that I get from winning rewards from successful strategies built on my own electrifies my nerves. This passion led to self-motivated exploration of the financial field, granting me invaluable knowledge and experiences. It’s always good to know special knowledge.
The most liberated period: enjoy college.
College is probably the most liberated period of your life. You are now out of your parents’ hands, responsible for your own class schedules, time allocation, and most everything else. It’s time to enjoy the freedom. Socialize as much as you can because it's never bad to have more friends you can trust.
Don’t be obsessed with grades.
I know caring for GPA is extremely stressful. But you are supposed to enjoy college. A small part of your university grades won’t change your life path. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and many other successful men did not even graduate from university. When bad things happen, think about the future and what you can improve on.
But do not regret.
Life always involves regrets. Like I said, it’s bad to be stressed about exam results after the exam. But you must be stressed prior to your exams, in order to do your best and to not regret. If you already know what you will regret about in the future, then you must prepare to prevent those regretful things from happening. Always, always try your best to not have regrets.