Thanks mom :)
March 3, 2013
Just got off the phone with my mom, and it’s always great to have someone who only sees a thin slice of your life. Like statistical sampling, it’s easier to spot trends when you step back and look at the big picture; getting caught up in the minutiae of information often precludes the ability to draw conclusions.
Recently, my mom has been calling me at times when I am busy with work. While this is in no way representative of my actual work life (HAH), her random sampling technique does say something about my trend of being more interested in the work I do (See! my psychology major IS useful).
This hasn’t really happened in my previous years at Yale.
And I don’t know what it is about this year: maybe I’m finally feeling the tug of The Workplace (aka Adult Life), or that I finally solidified my passions, but I’m starting to see the path I want to go down, and the skills I want to learn. I wished I had this urge coming in Freshman year, but my god, I know that straight out of my underfunded, overcrowded high school at 17, I would not have known anything about how to succeed past opening your own small boba shop (this is ACTUALLY filmed near my hometown, with my friends in the cast). There were no opportunities to fall in love with engineering, graphic design, cognitive science, or programming. There was no exposure to finance, investing, and definitely no knowledge of who the prominent intellectual names out there were.
So I came to Yale, ignorant and yawning when my friend raved on about some highly decorated professor. I simply went through the motions, halfheartedly. I am goldfish in a spare glass bowl, accidentally flushed into the immeasurable ocean. I had heard of the ocean, but never thought I’d be in it.
Which brings me to my next topic: income/class disparity.
Yes, I came here poorer than most, and definitely a lot less educated than most. I have definitely learned a lot, A LOT, about the world out there from my suburban desert. But while I’m tempted to point at this as permission to complain about inequality, I don’t. I don’t feel it. What am I supposed to prove? that the world is unfair and some people are born with a leg up? that I wished everyone at Yale had an equal chance straight into school? This is a fact of life, there’s no point in telling others how bad I had it before. Especially since I feel that A) there are others who probably had it worse B) I am actually not angry, but damn grateful to have this opportunity. People who complain about disparity in Yale need to suck it up and realize that this opportunity itself is a great blessing.
As a senior looking back, I wished I did MechE as a freshman, rather than Psychology. I wished I took all these classes I would have found useful in life rather than some easy A courses. But I know, absolutely, that had I gone back in time telling my freshman self all these things, he would not have budged. Freshman Me had his own insecurities and holes to fill, and he did a remarkable job with that.
Furthermore, I feel that seniors since time immemorial feel this way: that they should have majored somewhere else, or should have taken these X classes.
I’m just really glad I did well in high school. People who tell you that the things you learn in high school are useless and will never be used in real life are bullshit and correct. I will probably never use Calculus BC again in real life, but acing the class has given me the confidence to delve into math again, even if I haven’t touched it in 5 years. So young’uns, THIS is why you do well in high school.
Overall, I want to dedicate this post to my Mom. Thank you for reassuring me that I’m doing the right things this year, and actually going in the right direction. I try not to show that I care when you’re disappointed or proud of me, but I do.