Dealing with your ducks

A fresh perspective

Stephen Kolison

I may not be the authority on what to do when your plans suddenly shift, but I was pre-med for a month; so I know a thing or two about your life getting flipped turned upside down. Let’s be real, the ducks that most students had in a row when they first arrived are now taking a parabolic shape. For some, these ducks might as well be in a scatterplot. For others even, half of their ducks are playing hockey, while the remaining ducks lollygag.

Now that things have been shaken up, questions have to be asked. And these aren’t trivial questions like whether or not you should have that fifth bowl of ramen. The questions that need to be asked require a little more effort because they are about you: Is it time to reconsider your major? Is it time to broaden your studies? What the heck are you even doing here? The beauty and repulsion of the Choices Fair in Veale Athletic Center on Friday, Oct. 11, was that many options were given to the students attending, but it also felt overwhelming. You were left clinging to what you knew so you wouldn’t drown in the sea of possibility. But when it’s time to let go and let the sea carry you to where you need to be, of course the lifeguard is missing because he found out he can Tapingo more than once at Denny’s.

It’s an understatement to say that college requires a bit of effort. From middle school and all the way through high school, you are put on a track to college with a fair amount of hand-holding along the way. Once you get to college, those that held your hand basically say, “Your hands are too sweaty— time to let go.” The arrival to the situation where doubts are being raised has become even harder to get out of when there is limited help.

The energy that is put into college can be summed up into two simple types: productive and unproductive. If you’re struggling with something and you know in your heart of hearts that these endeavors are going towards something worthwhile, good for you.

However, if your struggles are getting you nowhere and you are asking yourself why you are even doing it, then it’s time to stop. It is just a waste of energy. It’s like cramming yourself through a door that you know you cannot fit into. Close that door and find a new one to go through.

Occasionally interests may seem disconnected, but something is there. Your head has all of these “ducks” set up for you, but it is up to you to put more work into connecting them all together and putting them in a row. When you close that door that you cannot fit into, yes, another one opens. What needs to be realized is that your actual door is practically the same door you were trying to cram through. It’s made of the same wood and has the same knob, but it may just be colored differently. You think you’re meant to go through swinging double doors when you’re really meant to go through the door of a blue police box.

College is now like a rollercoaster. Before you get on, you see this really high peak and it seems like a thrill to ride. We all know that feeling when you get half way up the slope and you realize that the journey up is taking way too long and it’s time to panic and wonder why you even got on the ride in the first place. I have my days where I want to drop out and yell, “This is too hard. I’m just going to sell my scarves at the corner of Euclid Ave. and Adelbert road.”

This is balanced with the notions that I want to stay here forever. Like the roller coaster, everything here will get faster and hopefully a lot more fun. People may get queasy from the ride, but that’s just a part of life. While we are stuck considering our options and the choices in front of us, the real choice is whether we fight for the journey and try more than we’re used to or just slide into the known.

Stephen Kolison is a first-year biology student. While confining himself to his dorm, he enjoys knitting while watching Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey.