I recently found myself in a potentially life-damaging pickle; being completely stuck between two colleges. A.K.A. two different roads towards my future. As in, if I pick the wrong one, I’ll graduate completely smothered in debt (if I actually were to graduate, which, if I picked the wrong place to go, I probably wouldn’t), end up living in a box and moving around some random city to keep the IRS off my trail, and eventually die as a failure and have an empty funeral hall because my otherwise-successful family has better places to be. Actually, scratch that. I wouldn’t have a funeral hall because I’d be so much of a failure that no one would care enough to get me one. In fact, I’d probably just die in my box.
But I digress.
Eventually, after multiple long and stressful days of moaning “I don’t know where I wanna go to college” to anyone within my vicinity, I picked one, the school of my dreams, in fact. The place just took me in, and I felt like I belonged there. The feeling was akin to the one you get when you finally kiss the person you’ve had a crush on since 3rd grade.
But then, a few days after your first kiss together, you begin to over think it. Did your breath smell? Did he/she think you were a good kisser? Why aren’t they calling you back? Will this whole thing mess up your friendship? Will you two ever be the same again?
Suddenly, the person of your dreams becomes this awkward, middle-ground, I-don’t-know-where-we-stand sort of types, and you’re back to square one. A.K.A. you don’t know what the future holds. As in, what the hell am I going to do with my life once I get college? Will I be able to make any friends after growing up with the same people for 12 years? What if I get bored and can’t see my family? What if the food is so bad that I’ll want to cry every time I step in the cafeteria? Is it even called a cafeteria anymore? Or is that just a high school thing? Oh my God, am I too lame for college?
I like to call these thoughts, and others similar to them, “commitment issues.” And yes, I am willing to openly admit that I have “commitment issues.” In literally all aspects of my life. According to my personal theory, “commitment issues,” are results of an over-active brain, especially in the areas called the Frontal and Temporal Lobes. The Frontal Lobe deals with thinking (i.e. over-thinking, thoughts racing, mind swirling, and other various clichés). The Temporal Lobe deals with memory (i.e. the nostalgia that you get at the end of your senior year….the kind that makes you regret enrolling in a University that is over 14 hours from home). And, as it so happens, the Big Bang or evolution or Jesus/Allah/Buddha/Leonardo DiCaprio (whomever your god may be) decided to place these two sections of the brain riiiight next to/on top of each other, because it would be funnier that way.
Check it out:
So, with scientific evidence to back me up, I am here to say that we all have “commitment issues” and it’s actually not our faults (see above diagram). But these “issues” are real-world problems that we need to confront. Whether it’s the commitment to another person, or a new place, or a grand adventure, there is always the risk in it not working out. But wouldn’t you rather have tried and failed than never to have tried at all? So maybe that kiss with your 3rd grade crush was actually terrible, and so below your standards of what you had expected. Now you can move on to the hot neighbor that has had his/her eyes on you since you moved into the ‘hood.
I willingly committed to a college with the knowledge that I may have to transfer next year based on what I think I can afford on my predicted (low) future salary (oh my Leo DiCaprio, I’m growing up). But if I never tried, if I never even gave myself the chance to live in this beautiful, perfect place, I would never know what opportunities could be running loose on its quad, dodging between desks and under chairs and around dorm-room laptop screens. Maybe I’ll meet my best friend there, or my Maid of Honor, or my soul mate, or my perfect professor. Maybe it will give me all of the opportunities I need to travel to Ireland and France and Australia and Africa. Maybe it will help me secure a paid internship at a publishing firm. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t ever have to live in a box.
If the cafeteria (no, seriously, is that what they call it?) food is really bad, I’ll drive the 45 minutes it takes to get to the only Panera near the campus. If I don’t make any friends, I’ll go on StumbleUpon. A lot. There are multiple ways to make a situation better, and there are multiple cures to “commitment issues.” The first step is to go with your gut, make your decision, and be happy, because usually your instincts are right.
This life is only as good as we make it out to be. Commit fully to yourself, your relationships, and your future.
There’s nothing stopping you but yourself. And, well, your lobes.