Embracing stillness: a reflective post

Commitment is something I struggle with a lot.

On the other hand, change could be my middle name. While most people have a hard time embracing change, I can willfully pick up my life at any given moment in exchange for a new experience or lifestyle. I find it exhilarating and can’t get enough.

After a few months of staying in the same place and doing the same thing, I get restless, antsy and crave new experiences.

As a junior in college, I’m already at my third school. Three colleges in three years – I should win an award. 😉

When the restlessness first came about six months into my freshman year at Northern Michigan University, I blamed it on the university. I claimed the school didn’t suit my needs.

I transferred to University of Illinois the following year.

I arrived at a state of discontent at U of I after the initial excitement of being at a new school wore off about three months in. I left after just one semester. Again, I said the school just wasn’t for me.

Resume to present. I’m at Sierra Nevada College, a beautiful, tight-knit, unique college with a caring community of faculty and students and a fantastic, hands-on journalism program. The school sits less than a mile from Lake Tahoe, with endless outdoor opportunities abound. I couldn’t ask for more.

However, yet again, the feelings of stagnancy and restlessness seeped into my mind over Thanksgiving Break, about 11 months after first enrolling.

The feelings were impossible to ignore. I laid in bed night after night, tossing and turning, riled up about my increasing disdain for the school I fell in love with less than a year ago. My own mind convinced me that I couldn’t stay. I clearly wasn’t happy.

I gave into the emotions and came to the conclusion that I needed something new to make me happy – a different degree, a semester off, a new school – anything that sparked change.

“I’m no longer passionate about journalism.”

“I need to take some time off to figure myself out.”

“This college isn’t right for me. Maybe, college in general isn’t right for me. Maybe I should just drop out.”

These thoughts flurried in my mind as I composed an email to my adviser, detailing my intent to withdraw. My parents were aware of my decision and told me they supported me, although I could hear the frustration and despair in their voices as this happened yet again.


 

I crave constant change and adventure. This can be a great quality to have, but it often prevents me from committing to things and sticking with them.

I was 95% sure I wouldn’t be returning to SNC in January two days ago.

However, this is no longer the case.

I’m lucky to have such an amazing support system here at SNC, as well as at home. Thanks to my supportive and knowledgable adviser, caring teachers and loving parents, they’ve helped me see the underlying issue with my “serial transfer syndrome”.

I’m working on finding gratitude and happiness in the present moment. I’m remembering why I chose SNC in the first place, and enjoying my time at this beautiful school while I’m still here. I’m prioritizing long-term goals (a.k.a. getting a degree), rather than just acting on short-term, impulsive antics.

odl
Why would I leave a school where classes like this are part of the curriculum?

Change is impressive, but staying still also takes courage. Sticking around at SNC for my final year (only one more year…I can do it!) to get my degree will allow me to prove to myself and to others that I can show commitment in things that truly matter to me.

 

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