This past week has been a mixed bag on many levels. On the one hand, I’ve gotten a lot of work done (three problem sets, one group project, and one revised essay) while still finding a decent amount of time for club meetings, having dinner at my fraternity, playing Brawl, and generally hanging out with friends.
On the other hand, I didn’t get much sleep, which sort of sucked.
It did, however, give me a little bit of insight into how you all might be feeling right now – how, to be perfectly honest, I myself felt precisely one year ago. I’ve grown a lot since then…emotionally, socially, academically; as a friend, as a student researcher, and as a human being. And the road has not always been smooth; I’ve been faced with potholes, run into ridiculous roadblocks, turned down dead ends. On some occasions I’ve made bad decisions solely of my own accord; at other times, it feels as though things are simply completely beyond my control.
But that’s the way life is. The real world is so much bigger than what you know now – so much more vibrant, so much more real. And I trust that will be true wherever you finally find yourself for college, whether that happens to be Cambridge, California, or China. Four of the greatest years of your life are directly ahead of you.
I know many of you find it hard to picture yourselves anywhere but MIT right now. I understand that completely, because I felt the same way one year ago. And while I fear this will sound hollow, I just wanted to take this entry to assure you of one vitally important fact: being in college will be a wonderful experience, no matter what university you finally choose. And I mean that with all my heart.
But in the long run, college will only be as rewarding as you are prepared to let it be. Take advantage of every opportunity you can find to pursue what matters most to you – and if those opportunities don’t seem exist, just make your own opportunities. Dedicate yourself wholly, totally, completely to your greatest passion and deepest desires. Claim your place, or strike out and discover a whole new territory. Make your mark in whatever way you can – on your friends, on your professors, on the random people you sit next to in class. Lead a life someone would want to remember.
No matter what anyone else tells you, never surrender your dreams.
Only sixteen hours left. I’ll be thinking of you.