Hold on, Artlets


We entered this University, this Faculty, as curious and excited freshmen with no thoughts other than the need to explore this new world called our college life. But as we adapted, as we got to know our group of friends, created our college identities, and discovered all the intricate details of our desires and ambitions, we dared to dream of what we could accomplish after college, of the endless absolutes of what we will become.

Some people—a rare fewactually stay true to their freshman dreams, while the rest of us find new dreams in other pursuits or settle for what life gives us and fall into a routine. To euphemize, we go with the flow.

We began to build relationships with different people, found family in friendships. We learned to settle for mediocre because we procrastinate and cram to a fault. Meeting deadlines becomes more necessary than sleep. Suddenly, the motivation and the drive we had during our first day in the University became a distant concept.

There are times when we would look at the faces of freshmen students so full of life and hope and ask ourselves: what has become of us? What has become of our dreams? We stopped seeing the world in absolutes and learned how to pick out all the shades of possibility, however dim they might be.  

I have a routine. Our professors have a routine. Some of my friends have a routine. And none of us seemed truly happy in agreeing and falling to this routine because in a way, it is the same as giving up on our dreams, whatever they may have been before college life got in the way.

But I realize that as we must dwell in this poor world with all of its strictures and encumbrances, we must not forget the importance of one thing: to hold on to who you are.

If you are a writer, you will want to stop writing; you will want to give up. You will realize that the rewards it offers are so few and the path to success is so steep. Whatever loneliness you feel now, it will only grow as you continue down this path.

But never abandon it. Do not give up the pleasure of writing or whatever it is that you love doing out of fear and doubt, because we cannot fight who we are. The only result of trying is losing ourselves in service of something that will never fully accept us.

So go forth, Artlets, and be as daring as I could not. F

Editor’s Note: This column was originally published in Vol. 54, Issue No. 4 of the Flame. View the entire issue through this link.

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