& I am at the risk of sounding completely whiny, but I mean it observationally and not, oh-my-god-why-my-life-is-so-hard ways.
But growing up is hard, yeah? Or challenging. Or different. Or living on your own is. You take care of yourself, you find your own happiness, your own acceptance, the consequences you are willing to live with, the ones you are not. Things fall away, become less important. Your personal space grows bigger, your comfort zone smaller. You walk alone to places; when you see the unabashed bloom of a flower, you smile at yourself first.
Or maybe that’s just life here. It’s – it’s not bad, exactly. I guess when it is all said and done I have a faint, but steadily coalescing, notion of what I need to be content. Then I lose it again by demanding more of myself than contentment. I have studied more consistently and more independently for these exams than before – being here takes away a lot of the safety net that I used to feel, the illusory infallibility. Yet it also removes the absolute, almost obsessive stress on exams – there is a lot of resignation, to be sure, but also acceptance, relief. The atmosphere on campus now is fairly chill – people study, but people (mostly) don’t study compulsively, and exams are important, but not defining.
Am also learning how to strive for excellence instead of perfection. Everything I can say about how exams went has now been reduced to ‘okay’. SATs went okay, the two philosophy tests I’ve had went okay. English and Math this week, French, Biology, History and the last philosophy test next week, and then it’s done. ‘Okay’ means – I don’t know what else I would have done better because I know why I did what I did. I could have refocused my philosophy tests but the realization stemmed from the actual experience of having done it wrong – and my essays do not have to be perfect. My EE converges enough with my philosophy studying at the moment that I am not too worried about it.
As an afterthought, because I don’t feel like I’m in a position to analyze, it’s been really surprising and heartening to read all the articles about the recent elections. The political landscape is becoming a lot more nuanced, and there’s a vague sense of regret that I wasn’t able to be part of that this time, but all in all, it’s still immaterial. I appreciate the development of a viable political opposition, but I still don’t see the systematic flaws in the current government that the opposition points to, though more than ever before, I am beginning to suspect that part of it stems from my own privileged background. We’ll see, I suppose.
Lunch now, and then a day of math awaits !