As the new stationery smell starts to wear off, we are hit with the realisation of an entirely new university year. Selina Detchon tells us how she deals with such apprehension.
We can do our best and still fail. The point is to pick ourselves up off of the inviting patch of desolate ground we so easily let ourselves lay limp and wounded in. Wherever this literal or metaphorical place we fell or failed may be, there is a choice to be strong. Nevertheless, sometimes we need another person’s perspective to see this or their help and repeated encouragement to make to the choice to find a new way to start again.
We as human beings must forever be letting go of the past in order to build a future. Some, I believe, feel a stronger connection to the past than others – the nostalgic, the dreamers, maybe the scared, the stuck, the trapped. This is not always a bad thing. However, finding yourself being left behind in life can occur because you have no idea how to let go. Or, perhaps I should rephrase that, how to let go enough. It is important to feel the days we have lived through hold a vast amount of worth. After all, they made us who we are today. Just as the current moment you are living as you read this is, in some small way, shaping the person you are to be tomorrow and on beyond tomorrow.
The days we have lived through though have passed, and cannot be our fixation. For some, a radical change in the way everyday life is carried out is the answer to allow for the personal growth and the acceptance of past mistakes. I would extend this to include the unlatching of warm memories we play obsessively in our heads, the courage to overcome fear that is not shameful but an indication of our humble humanness, and the development of resilience we will need for life.
Beginning university may be the new start you have needed in order to realise you have struggled in the past, with your past, or with yourself. There are two very important things I have learnt due to the kindness and care of people in my life. They have allowed me to get to where I am now – at the end of my first day of university and living independently. The first is to give things time. Give the bad things time to pass or resolve without tormenting ourselves with negative self-talk. And the second is that we are not fixed. We are creatures of great personal, cultural and individual variety. We are ever changing, ever gaining of knowledge and experience and life. What a wonderful thing that is.
Words by Selina Detchon