happiness has infinite meanings
hi summer pals!
I’ve been crazy busy so it’s been difficult getting myself to sit down and write. I work part-time and spend every other minute at graduation parties, with my family, with friends… summers in college kind of feel like a tsunami of “catching up,"especially if you go to school far from home.
But, recently, one of my closest friends inspired this piece of reflection that I’m about to get into. First, some context: Matt and I became close last year as freshmen at the University of Richmond. We met in the library one night when mutual friends introduced us and we haven’t stopped laughing since (mostly because Matt is hands down the quirkiest kid I have ever met and is constantly entertaining me with absurdity).
Matt left me to take a gap year last August and so I had to do this whole year of college without him in close proximity. We talked as often as we could and he even came to visit me in Boston where he was touring the Berklee College of Music. Spoiler: HE GOT IN and will start school there this fall!
Recently we began writing letters to each other. Why? Read below.
In addition to making me laugh my ass off, Matt and I also have really great conversations about life, philosophy, and what it means to be happy. I distinctly remember an amazing conversation we had last year (when I say last year I usually mean freshman year LOL) in the middle of the night, sitting in a gazebo that we have in the middle of our campus lake. We both felt so stuck… like college just wasn’t what we had dreamed it to be. Matt was in the business school, trying to fit in guitar and songwriting on the side, and I was dealing with depression while writing my feelings out on this blog.
Flash forward to now and we get to the real reason why I wanted to write about this today: Matt and I are both so much more content and excited than we ever thought we could be that night in the gazebo. But, something we always come back to when discussing our mutual success is how different our paths were to get here, despite feeling the same way as freshman 2 years ago.
I thought I was going to transfer. Obviously, I ended up staying at UofR and being so thankful I did. Matt did transfer, but not until after taking an entire gap year to pursue music and to find the right school for him. We both made our own decisions, our own adjustments that led to our own successes. It’s easy to get trapped in other people’s advice and just end up following the status quo, but we are both living examples of how important it is to develop your own path.
So if there is anything to take away from this post or mine and Matt’s stories, remember that there is never one right answer; no one choice is going to be the key to improving your life. It’s all about making a bunch of adjustments, both big and small, and waiting for things to click into place.
Humans have this remarkable ability as animals to adapt to their environment. Don’t lose sight of that, even if your idea of adapting is radically different from someone else’s.
Here’s a little more of what I wrote to Matt, when he asked me to write about if “this is all destiny or free choice”:
Food for thought. Have good days!
Check out my buddy Matt’s website and if you live in the Philly area, go see one of his shows!