It’s a little difficult to sit in the John Harvard bar in Harvard Square, Cambridge (one of the cities in the Boston area) with a bunch of Harvard students, and not think that somewhere along the line I may have made a slight error in judgment.
All along, my parents wanted me to go to Harvard and become a doctor, which didn’t sit well with me for a few reasons:
- the stubbornness of not wanting to agree with my parents
- the unwillingness to get the grades to achieve greatness in life, as the outputs of my efforts were intangible and unforeseeable
- I failed to realize that education isn’t just about the prestige that comes with the name of a school or the things you’ll learn while in your classes; it’s also about the community you form around you and the adventures you have together. When you go to a school where the majority of people commute in and out daily, you don’t get anywhere near a chance to form meaningful bonds with the people around you
But in the end, maybe they were right. We’re told to apply ourselves in school, but as teenagers, we see ourselves as invincible, often not bothering to concern ourselves about the future and where we’re headed.
I know we can’t change the past, but who knows how different we might have been had we made different choices in our past?
It makes me think about the future, and where we want to be next. Are we happy with who we are now? Are there things we could have learned from in our pasts that we can change to improve our futures?
Looking at my life, it’s good — but it could be better. They can always be better. We can have better relationships with the people we care about. We can get more from the jobs we have. Whatever it is that makes up our lives, we need to remind ourselves that it can always be better than what we have going on.
So look to the future. Figure out whatever’s holding you back. Then crush it. Define who you are and what path you’re going to travel, and always strive to make each day better than the one you had before.
For only you can control you life, and the more you let others think that they can, the less likely you are to ever get where it is you want to be.
–Casey E. Palmer