You are empowered with the power of choice the moment you wake up. As you reach over to snooze your alarm snuggled up under your sheets (that you probably haven’t been bothered to change for weeks), you wonder: should I go to class today, or should I sleep in? Should I catch up on Netflix instead since it’ll be more productive than going to your 100 people lecture where your attendance won’t be taken anyway? It’s unlike high school, where every day was the same, consisting of waking up, having a full day of classes, hanging out with your friends after school and doing homework. You lived within a set pattern. In college, you’re no longer in a nest, with your parents or your teachers to guide and protect you. Every day is a blank canvas, and it’s up to you where to start, and what to paint. You are suddenly in full control (or not) of what to do with the day and what to do with your life. EVERYONE ELSE WORKS SUPER HARD AND IS CRAZY SMART AND TALENTED I’m beyond grateful that I have Duke as my exploring ground. It’s almost like I’ve been living a dream. As the bus makes its way up the slope, and the beautifully symmetric image of the Duke Chapel that I’ve always admired in promotional YouTube videos appears right before my eyes, I am reminded of how blessed I am to actually be here. As I meet people who casually speak five different languages, as I struggle to find a free spot in the library, and as I read through college publications where literally every piece is written beautifully, I realise I am at a school where everyone else works super hard and is crazy smart and talented. As my whole hall raves to cheesy songs at Shooters as and as we übered our way to themed frat ‘darties’ (for those who don’t know: this refers to a day parties) in random farms in the middle of nowhere, I embrace the fact that all us intense library occupiers knew how to party and have fun. There’s nothing like receiving care packages outside your door during midterm season when you feel like dying, and nothing more uplifting than when crowds gather to show love and support when your gay friend Jack speaks out against his haters. I’ve sat in Kville from 16 waiting for Cameron doors to open the day before finals week. I’ve yelled our glorious fight song with my face painted blue, and felt starstruck when Grayson Allen touched my hand. And next term, I’m looking to spend one month living in a tent for tickets to the UNC game (I mean winter and the cold is no big deal in comparison to watching the Blue Devils give the Tar Heels hell). Although fun, Duke life was far from perfect. It’s hard to be a perfectionist when every single assignment counts towards your grade (no room for mistakes at all) and even though classmates are usually super supportive, it’s pressuring to subconsciously know that everyone else is probably ten times as on their grind as you are.
ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES AND ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES REQUIRE CHOICES
It’s tiring because of the endless possibilities and the endless opportunities that necessitate my indecisive self to make so many choices (where to eat for dinner? with whom? what to do tonight?). When I have barely enough time to breathe, I’m obliged to spend it socializing, going to events, and securing developing friendships. To summarise: college is lots of work, and lots of play. Of feeling lost, and being uncertain. Everything I did in high school clearly pointed towards a clear goal: getting into college. And college is where I am yet to find myself, and learn to hold onto the things that define me when everything is being thrown at me. To find my hue within the rainbow.