Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It'll All Work Out

Inspired by a beautiful friend of mine, here I come to tell a story.

Today in my Chicano literature class, our first papers were due. Our professor had us exchange papers with another in the class to locate the thesis, to determine whether or not the following paragraphs complied with the thesis, etc. 

What are we, in high school, right?

Looking to my right, I see a gorgeous girl with red rain boots covered in white polka dots. Her cheeks are particularly rosy and she has striking blue eyes. Every time I've heard her speak in class she's sounded very analytical, like a solid English major. We exchanged papers but before she let me read her paper she said,

"Just so you know, it's probably really bad. I'm a math major."
"I'm sure it's fine," I said.

After reading her paper, I noticed that her thoughts were all very good, she just didn't quite organize them in the right way--knowledge that someone outside of an English major wouldn't really know because it hasn't been consistently shoved down their throats. I pointed out ways that she could better organize.

"You don't have to be nice. You can tell me what's wrong. I know it's really bad."
"Um, well, you could eliminate these parentheses, they're implied and etc etc."
I saw her diligently taking notes, eager to learn from me. When it came time to critique my paper, she said she found no fault with it (which I can assure you is far from the truth). She liked the ideas I used and learned more about organization from the structure of my paragraphs.

After we'd exhausted all literary talk, the girl, Chelsea is her name, opened up to me, like she trusted my spirit for some reason. 

"Everyone in my family is an accountant."
"Oh, is that what you want to do?"
"No, I don't really know what I want to do. My parents kind of pushed me into it. And I'm good at math so I kind of just.."
"Went with it?"
"I started out as a bio major because I thought it would make my parents happy. But then I got here and it just didn't work for me."
"Yeah, I really just wish I could...hang out. I'm supposed to be a senior but I only have 66 credit hours. I've kind of been slacking. And now my parents are like, 'Okay, you have to graduate.' I'd rather just do my own thing, you know?"
"I totally understand. Doesn't it seem like you enter college so enthusiastic and sure of what you want to do and by the end you're like, 'I have no idea what I want to do'?"
"And that's what scares me," she said, "That it's so close and I have no idea what I want to do."

I don't know if I've ever had a more connective conversation with a stranger. I just wanted to be like, "It's okay! I don't know what I want to do either! Let's be wandering vagrants together!"

Sometimes I feel like a failure because I don't have a "definite" future. But seeing Chelsea, so bright and so smart, made me realize that there are thousands of others that feel the exact same way. 
And that eventually, it all works out.

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