"It's hard, but you're making progress" by Angela B.
Dear me, three years ago,
You thought that you had a long, dripping career in research ahead of you, a breathless string of important research papers, tenure jobs at prestigious universities and then, retirement, a few comfortable twilight decades on award money from your Nobel prize for curing cancer.
You thought you would never spend academic time abroad, having scrunched your nose at the idea of a glittery, mystified semester wanting for real work.
You thought, for God’s sake, that if research didn’t work out, you could go to law school, and you puffed your pounding ribcage out at the first Pre-Law Society meeting, so enamored by yourself, a corpus of exoticism, the biologist who revolutionized policy.
You thought that Georgetown wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t where you were supposed to be. You thought you were a victim of circumstance and chance, sucked under the unforgiving juggernaut of college applications. You considered transferring.
You thought you’d never get sick of Leo’s. (You thought you needed the unlimited meal plan).
Your brain juggled the tiny piece of the world you knew transposed into past, present, future, three transparent, edged, finite crystals—a neat deconstruction of reality, the way you liked. Safe? You thought you were taking risks when you threw one a little higher.
Don’t worry: you are doing great. But you’ve had to wrestle yourself to get here, and that’s fine. It’s also fine if not all 86,400 seconds of each day are happy ones. You’ll learn to know your own pace. You’ll eventually accept that Forbes 30 Under 30 wouldn’t be so missed if you never make it. One day, you’ll stop measuring your future with the rulers of the present. (You have yet to stop measuring yourself with other people’s rulers, but it takes time, it’s fine.) You’re working towards being fine doing what you love, stripped of the need for recognition. It’s hard, but you’re making progress, and that’s all I can ask of you.
Angela Bai (COL '17)