Junior Year Jitters

#DailyWings: “Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.” -Ernet Hemingway

Better late than never. That’s what I have been telling myself lately with everything that I do. Apparently, I just finished my third week of junior year without really knowing it. It feels like a 5k race just started without me or something. But even though junior year has already kicked off and I am officially over halfway through college, I thought I’d take some time today to pat myself on the back for completing sophomore year. For maintaining a solid GPA, making some incredible new friends and building a stronger heart. I realize I am much stronger than I was a year ago. 

At the end of every year since the beginning of college, I have written a letter to my older self. After freshman year was over, I wrote a note to my sophomore self highlighting some guidelines for having a successful semester. Here are a just a few lines I scribbled down as reminders to myself:

Know your priorities. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. 

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Raise your hand. Just do it. There’s no better time than now. 

Say hello. The worst thing that could happen is you would have the exact same number of friends before you said hello. The best thing that could happen? You end up with one more friend than you did before.

Smile. No matter what’s going on, there is always a reason to smile. Find it, mull over it, smile about it. If anything—be grateful for what you have.

Today, I wrote yet another letter to my junior graduate self. Yes, technically I am three weeks late but hey – better late than never, right? In truth, I’ve procrastinated writing the letter until now because I didn’t want to confront all the things that were bugging me about myself. I’ve been needing a self-confidence booster because, honestly, I still don’t know what the heck I want to do with my life. 

Going to one of the best universities in the country can be intimidating. There is so much passion and fervor. Incredible students creating, changing, organizing all the time. It’s inspiring. But every once in a while, you can’t help but wondering–what am I doing here? 

So the letter I wrote to my junior graduate self said: push yourself. It’s never too late to change for the better. Past failures and mistakes don’t matter; what counts is what you can do right now at this very moment. I told myself this: 

I can do great things, if only I let myself. I don’t need anyone else’s approval to do the things that make me happy. 

Maybe not knowing what I want to do after college is okay. Maybe it’s better this way. It’s certainly better than having my entire life mapped out in front of me, with no surprises or spontaneity. One thing I’m sure of is that the best parts about life usually come in packages that fall at our doorstep when we least expect them. Even though I don’t know what I want to do with my life, that means the future is up in the air. Anything can happen. It’s scary, but at the same time, there’s something exciting about the unknown. I direct myself in the pathway I choose, never knowing what’s around the corner. 

What mantras do you have to keep you motivated and focused on your goals? Do you like knowing what’s ahead, or do you prefer taking chances as they come your way?

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2 responses to “Junior Year Jitters”

  1. Shallee says:

    I love your reminders to yourself, and your mantra. It helps to remember that we can do great things if we give ourselves permission.

  2. I like the idea of writing a letter to your older self. I think I will write a letter to my older self too. Things I’ve let go of, things I want to do, challenges, etc. Time flies whether you’re having fun or not. I’d rather have fun. It seems like you’re doing okay for you. Love that. Have a great rest of the school year little Wendy Lu.

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