This is an advice column from UPost. We take in advice from anything relating to school to friends and to existential crises. Don’t worry, this is completely anonymous so send in whatever you want (but inappropriate messages will be deleted). Thanks, Hank
By Emily Gardner
When everything is culminating, you start to reminisce about everything that got you to this point. Every decision you made ultimately put you here (along with the choices of others muddling that up a little bit). Every relationship you formed and broke, every friendship, even the ones that didn’t last. You begin to see everyone as not only what they are now, but what they’ve become, how they’ve changed, and what they want to be. You see the ones you were afraid to talk to, and how it all could’ve been different if you had just said hi. You see the people you did talk to, and what would’ve changed if you had never said hi. And perhaps out of all of that you learn that maybe you shouldn’t go around making libraries out of people, losing yourself inside of them for a few weeks before placing them back on the shelf. People are like books that never finish writing themselves. And no matter how small a part you played, you probably altered their life in some way. That’s the thing about moments: you can never get rid of the memories, or their effects. But I don’t think you can say you’d change it all, no matter what it is now, because at one time it made you happy. You can’t say you hated a book because it ended badly, because something made you keep reading until the end.
If you’ve ever returned to a place where you spent time as a child, you will realize how everything looks smaller, because your perspective has changed. The same is true for every moment, no matter how ultimately wonderful or terrible it may seem now, 10 years from now it will just be a memory. 20 years from now you’ll wonder how it bothered you at all.
And even though this is the wisest you’ve ever been, you will be wiser still tomorrow. Never stop exploring the world as if it’s the first time you’ve seen it. Because things start existing every day, and if you lose yourself in security, you’ll only know your corner of the world.
For everyone who hasn’t reached the end:
I hope that you’re living now making the choices you won’t regret. The time moves slow by the day but the days move faster the busier you are. If I were you I’d talk to everyone, if you don’t like it, don’t do it again, but everyone deserves a chance to be a character in your story. Somewhere in life we all develop some sort of standards for those who we keep close. But in high school, everything changes. Screw your standards because they evaluated everyone back then, and this is not; give everyone a chance. You don’t want to be there coming to the end of this with regret. Regret brings resentment, and resentment is time wasted.
There will always be the ones you don’t make eye contact with in the hallway, but in the end, we’ll all walk away individuals. It won’t matter whether or not you were in a class group together or not. It won’t matter who got the highest grade on the test. We all used to compete for the highest grades and test scores, but here and now the only thing we have to compete with is ourselves and our inhibitions. Because there’s not a single person you won’t want to see succeed. We’re all here reminiscing, remembering our moments, rereading our stories, before we begin the next chapter.