The Art I Master In One Year of College

The video above sums up the major lesson I learn from the first year of college life, albeit the excessive use of the f word is not a part of what I learn. To keep my posts suitable for all ages, from this point onward, I’ll replace the f word with fish.

Four years ago, back when I was in high school, I was taught to give a fish to almost every people and every events around me. Not without any purpose, those lovely seniors who taught me expected me to reduce my indifference. As a minimum requirement, I was expected to know the condition of my friends or colleagues. If it had been possible for me to help him/her, I would’ve felt obliged to do so. In one way or another, giving fish to something that is not my business at the first place is shaping me to be more social. It makes me easier to do unnecessary good deeds willingly. The impact of giving a fish to almost every single thing to my habit is not so surprising though as it is actually basic physics:

Newton’s First Law of Motion
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

I constantly give fish to people, thus it’s easier for me to give another fish to other people the next time.

However, one thing my seniors forget to teach us is that we actually need to consider who (or what) get more fishes than others. Some people or some things aren’t worth giving the fishes! Sure, it’s okay to give tiny weeny lacking omega-3 fishes to everyone or everything; it doesn’t cost that much. Giving tiny fishes for free is kinda good though if we consider it as an act of charity that might bring smiles on people’s faces. But although there are plenty of fishes in the sea, our access to the most nutritious fishes is limited. Our resource of good quality fishes is scarce; we must manage it well enough to keep it sustainable.

Entering college let me acknowledge diverse interesting things that can actually easily seduce me to give them fishes for free. But as a year went by, I get more assured that those appealing things aren’t worth my fishes. Sure, they might seem shining shimmering splendid (you peeps are an old school if you get this), but they don’t need my fishes. They’ll still be working fine without mine. Plus, many of things I met won’t give me anything back for a return (knowledge, tranquility, attention, etc), so why should I give mine?

Some may say that giving or not giving fishes based on the rule I set up for my self is too transaction-al. But, hey, guess what! Life itself is a transaction between us, human being, with The Creator. We obey The Creator’s rules to reach heaven as a return; why can’t we apply those rules on daily basis? All I say is that we really should start investing fishes on things that matters or to things that need it the most. That way, zero fish is wasted.

Ciao! lookingbackfromnow,didIaccidentallyenrolltocollegeoflife?

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2017: A Year of Choices, Wrong Decisions, and Faith

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Hello, internet! Months have passed since the last time I post something on this dusty ‘lil blog and it is already December! They say December is “the most wonderful time of the year” and I agree on that since December means holiday. And holiday means free time to do things I really like, blogging for instance, yuhuu!

Just like every December these past few years (except for 2015’s December, I just realize that I forgot to summarize that year into a post), I’d like to summarize my experience this year along with all lessons I’ve learned. Quick story before I start: the movie “New Year’s Eve” inspired me to do this. Having a moment to reflect all deeds I’ve done in a year sounds like a good idea to me. Plus, I need something to do on new year’s eve since I can’t sleep thanks to the bangs (although this one and the last one on 2016 is not written on new year’s eve). So, straight to the points, here we go!

1. On attempting new things: consider the reason why you start thoroughly.

Last year I made a promise to my self to be more selective when it comes to saying “yes” and “no” to new opportunities. This year, I think I’m still unable to select what’s the best for me.

The year 2017 is the year I enter college, therefore the year 2017 is the year I discover lots of things. By “lots of things” I mean a lot. One of those things is these amazing people whose “personal brands” are outstanding and that make me feel smaller and smaller and even smaller.

In college, it is very easy to define people: John Doe the president of organization X, Richard Roe the entrepreneur, Jane Doe the researcher, etc. Those people have participated on international conferences, joined nationwide summit which made them have new acquaintances, attended talk shows as the key speaker, and so on. It seems like they have reach the front door of success at a very young age (oh please, none of them are above 25!). But above all, those outstanding people possess something not everyone have: the power to give good impact to wide range of people.

I want to be one of them. To be someone whose presence is not only as another plus one; to be someone whose presence can be a great impact to lots of people.

I realize that to find the definition of someone, to be well-known at a particular field, or just to be able to contribute to the society via a certain field, someone must be competent and professional. And to be those two, I also believe that experience is the best catalyst. Experience can be gained through formal studies, taking extra classes, being a part of a community filled with bunch of people with the same interest, being a committee of an event, and so on, depends on what field you want to master. That way, you’ll become an expert on your field and you will be like one of those outstanding people who can contribute a lot.

And that is where I went wrong.

Just because most of those people I met are committees of something or researchers of something doesn’t mean that I must go through the same path as they did. Everyone has their own field and every field have its own stage at the end of the path. I figured out lately that having “what field I want to master” or “what field is the most beneficial if I master it” in consideration is not enough. “Want” and “beneficial” are what make those not quite right. When you only have those two in considerations, when you finally meet an obstacle on your way, if your will is not strong enough, it will be easy for you to give up.

I figured out lately that “what field I’d love to master” is what should really be considered. When you’re in love with something, you will fight for it despite all the hardships that come to you. You’ll face obstacles with a light heart and you will still be happy. Forget about long-term benefits; your happiness must be prioritized because…

2. Happiness is what truly matters.

It doesn’t matter whether what you’re doing is beneficial for you or whether what you’re doing can fund seven generation of your descendants, if that makes you unhappy, ESCAPE THAT TOXIC JOB OR ACTIVITY IMMEDIATELY! What makes life precious is the small happiness you get on random occasions. When you’re older, the moments you’ll remember are the moments when you’re having a conversation with your best friends, not those moments when you’re studying all night without a break to get straight A’s! I’m not against studying, trust me, I support it fully. But, sometimes we just need a break. Life should be balanced, isn’t it?

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I need to keep this one in mind more. I often forget this one because I’m often too focused on my long-term goal, duh.

3. On befriending people: it is always about quality over quantity!

I’ve been on my most comfortable zone these past three years. The people who surround me are the best kind of people. They always bring the good side of me, and when I’m not, they’re still there to handle me. Long story short, they’re the best kind of friends I could’ve asked for.. we just clicked. Thank you!

Stepping into college means I must get out of my comfort zone. I don’t get to hang out with my old friends everyday though we still communicate regularly.

For exchange, I get to know new buddies from different parts of this country. They’re cool people with different backgrounds. They have interesting stories to tell and I respect them for how they struggle to enter college. But still.. it is not that easy to click with them.

In college, I also met various people whose personality make me shakes my head.

I met someone who take advantages from me. Don’t get me wrong, I like being beneficial to people. I love to take part in someone’s life as someone who helps them. But.. being that someone who is contacted only when being needed.. that’s not what I want. I’m here to also make friends, you know, not only to be someone’s helper.

I also personally met these bunch of people who talk politics and other sensitive topics to strangers. I don’t mind if those topics are being discussed just for the sake of knowledge, but these people, these bunch of people, even try to penetrate their ideologies to strangers. Yes, to strangers, duh! I don’t know about other people, but I think it’s inappropriate. Political views, religious views, and other similar things are private things and better be discussed in private too.

Bottom line, I now know that I really need to be selective when it comes to befriending people. There are lots of toxic people out there and I should do my best to not allow them spoil me in any kind of way. Befriending lots of people is good, but make sure to only have the best kind of people in your inner circle!

4. Stop thinking and just do your best to chase what you love!

This year’s greatest lesson is that I need to think less and care less (of what people think). This year’s greatest mistake is that I think too much ’till I forgot to listen to my heart. I think too much about possibilities and advantages ’till I forgot to consider my passion in my decisions. That made me really unhappy and that drove me a little mad for a moment.

This big mistake I made is not easy to fix; This is the kind of mistake I need to get along with. And I don’t really know how to face it; I have never made a mistake this big in my life.

But, to think… was it really a mistake? Or isn’t it just me who is still unable to see the good in His plans? Who knows, maybe it is the latter. I don’t know about you, but I believe that every thing that has happened, happens, or will happen in this universe is already planned by Him. And I also believe that He is The Best Planner of All.

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This brings us to the last (big, major, notable) lesson I learned this year:

5. Stop having what if-s, start having what’s next-s.

Having what if-s in life won’t help us anything, really. Having what if-s turns us into an ungrateful person. It will also make us hate ourselves more and that will be counterproductive. Mistakes are made in the past… so what? There’s nothing we can do regarding to the past.

All we can do is to plan something to mend our future, and that’s the only thing we need to do. It is easy to say and I know that it is so hard to execute, but I believe we can do this. We can go through this!

So, arrivederci people! From now on, let’s hustle!

2016: Lessons I’ve Learnt

The year 2017 is right in front of our eyes. Other people may be in their way arranging their best new year’s resolution, but I’ve stopped doing that since last year. It is not that I don’t believe that resolutions exists; I have come to an understanding which makes me realize that my resolutions are quite the same from one year to another. I realize that I don’t need new resolutions every year, because all I have to do is just to constantly aim new targets every once in a while. Therefore, instead of sharing my newest targets, I’d like to share things that I’ve learnt in this year.

1. NEVER, EVER, EVER, say “Yes” to something you’re not interested in.

I’ve gone through a not-so-delightful experience this year just because I say “Yes” to something I’m not interested in. You see, taking chances and risks are good ways to improve ourselves, to push ourselves beyond our limit. However, when you accept something just because you pity it (not 100% due to your fondness of the thing), you tend to lose focus and loyalty to that thing. After you start feeling bored of that thing, you’ll start feeling under pressure. You’ll feel like you’re forced to do those things. That kind of feeling will lead you to stress and even physical pain. And all of that is just because you don’t have the heart to say “No” at the first place. Trust me, it’s better to bear the guilt of rejecting someone or something than having to endure mental and physical pain over a period of time.

However..

2. ALWAYS say “Yes” to the things that give you more experience.

Giving a shot to something new and challenging will always lead us to a good thing. There are two possibilities of what that good thing will be: 1) a real beneficial good thing or 2) a bittersweet life lesson.

In 2016, I’ve said “yes” to two economics essay writing competition, a quite random high school quiz held by the government, a high school wall magazine competition, and an essay writing and debate competition about food technology. I may not rank the first on those competition, but from those competition I became to know my abilities. I became to know which topic I excel better than the others. The most important thing from all of that is that I became to know that anyone can be anything they want just by hard work and prayers.

3. Everyone has their own field.

Nobody is meant to be perfect. Nobody is sentenced to master all things. So, it’s okay if someone is better than you in something. What’s not okay is if you don’t try exploring your hobbies, talents, or interests.

4. It’s not about who is the sharpest; it is about who is the one with more effort.

A lazy genius will slowly having his or her mind blunt if he or she barely exercises. However, a diligent average person will start having keen mind if he or she constantly exercises to reach his or her goal.

Last but not least, here are two videos of Casey Neistat I really like for the wisdom in it. Casey Neistat is a New York-based filmmaker who has been vlogging for these past years. I started subscribing his channel this year and I have been inspired by his videos all these months. His way of life and his principles about success show me different perspectives in life. Watch these videos and I hope they do to you too. Arrivederci!