31st December, 2016
Malaviya Bhavan, BPHC
There is barely anyone on the floor. Everyone is home for winters, and I am sitting here, staring at the ceiling in the dark. Another year has ended.
Uncomfortable and jittery, I sit in my favourite corner next to my make-shift Christmas tree, which I decorated with the tinsels my brother had crafted the previous year. I wish I could recreate the scenario, but unlike the tinsels, neither is he the same person nor am I.
Time is powerful. Humans are impressionable.
Now that I look back, I really really wish that someone had given me a pep talk when the year had started. I wanted myself to hear a few things which could have made my 2016 better. If at all Santa exists, I want to ask him for a time turner, not for going back a year just to undo a bad Karma or to push myself out of the bed for an 8 am class, but to say a few words that could perhaps avoid a few regrets. And I think, the conversation would go like this:
“Well, yeah. Someday the bubble had to burst. And now that it has, I want you realise that you are not alone in all this. Going through an existential crisis is a very common phenomenon, and trust me, the sooner you realise you have a lot left to do in life, the better it is. Yes, growing up seems glossy in the beginning, but in the end, it is a trap. So many times you will just lie on your bed and stare at the fan, thinking out loud, “Hell, what is going on? Why do I even exist? What is the point of it all?”. But don’t fret or panic, it won’t be even half as bad as it seems now. You will soon learn how to handle it.
Knowing you, you would obsess and fret over it anyway. But I am still going to state it out there.
Remember the time, when mom used to force you off to participate in a dance competition? Or push you to go and debate on the stage? Yeah, no matter how jittery you were at the start, you always came out happy and satisfied. The same thing applies even now. You don’t need to play safe always. Take risks and explore. Make sure that you do things that make you uncomfortable. Because that is how you will learn the most.
Learn to balance stuff. That is one skill which will pay off till the end. You don’t need to be a nerd studying all the time, neither do you need to take studies for granted. Find a middle ground such that you continue your hobbies and passions while maintaining good grades. Do not waste time, because you won’t get your college days to sculpt yourself, back, ever again.
I know how much you worry about placing yourself in the intense competition around you. Yes, it is important to stay afloat. But, in this race don’t get deviated from your main aim. People around you have varied tastes and diverse goals. Your aim is not the same as theirs, which means the path you tread on, definitely won’t match with the others. Logical enough? All I want to tell you is, don’t be scared to carve your own path. Do things differently. Be creative.
I know you are scared of many things. You are afraid of failing, you are afraid of losing the love of your life, you are afraid of losing friends, you are afraid of making mistakes. Welcome to 2016, everything that you are afraid of is going to happen to you.
But you know what the best part is? You are going to be fine, despite all of this. Brilliant isn’t it? Look at me right now…I am happier than I ever was. Never have I felt this strong in life. And believe me, it is the best thing that will happen to you.
Out of all the mistakes that you will make, the one thing that is going to rebound in the worst way possible is doing something that puts your parents under stress. You should realise that Mom and Dad are not going to stay forever. Give them your time. Don’t give them unnecessary burdens… it is not what they deserve.
There is one thing I want to tell you though. Listen carefully, because this might just turn out to be your biggest regret. Never make promises which you can’t keep. It will break someone’s heart. Likewise, never believe in hollow promises that others make to you. Things like, “I will not leave you ever. You are going to be my buddy, always” don’t work out. In the end, everyone goes away, no matter what you do. Instead enjoy your present. Be there for people you love. Make sure you call back home everyday. Make sure you are there for your best friends. That is all that matters. “
I need sleep.
– Aayushi Sharma