Things I’ve noticed about life
I’ve been in college for over three years now, it’s arguably been the three most interesting years of my life. I’ve got more stories than I ever thought I would, I’ve met more people, and most importantly I’ve learnt a lot about life.
It’s certainly true that a degree isn’t required these days, but college life might be, simply for the experiences that shape your life. Having said that, here’s what I’ve noticed about life over the past three years.
Staring into space is underrated
Watching TV, reading Reddit and browsing the internet have never left me feeling as relaxed as I should be. I once went outside following an exam and lay on the grass staring at the sky for an hour. It let me process thoughts, and force myself to relax and calm down.
That time never comes
If you ever hear yourself saying “I’ll get to that when I have time”, be prepared for that time to never appear. I noticed this during exams. Every thought I had was followed with “after exams, I can do that”, but after exams life hit me like a brick and no more time was given to me. In the words of a man in front of a green screen, just do it.
People are too absorbed with themselves to judge you
A couple of years ago I was at a party being shy and restrained, getting caught up in what people thought of me. A woman came to speak to me, and I remarked how I didn’t know anyone. She pointed out she didn’t either. I had an amazing revelation. Everyone else feels just like me. They’re all afraid of being judged. Which is good, they clearly don’t have time to actually judge each other. There are people who know this, you should be like these people.
New things become lesser as you get older
It seems as though when visiting the houses of older people, fewer things change. The furniture rarely moves, the decorations and even the food you eat remains static. Younger people are the opposite, I wonder if this is the case throughout time?
You seem to regret the things you didn’t do more
I’ll never know what happened to that girl I didn’t have the guts to talk to in a bar one night. Since then I know I have to try things. If they fail, I can learn and move on. If they succeed, well it wouldn’t have if I hadn’t tried.
Good and bad can’t exist alone
I always wondered as a child why bad things happen. I had a sudden realisation one day while breathing that I didn’t have a cold. I suddenly felt amazing. It settled soon after that I can’t have that feeling without knowing what it’s like to have a cold. Since then I’ve noticed that a life without some sadness rarely reaches high levels of happiness.
People are not generally good or bad. They just do good and bad things in different situations.
I have yet to meet someone who is universally bad. Or good for that matter. People seem to just behave in certain ways in certain conditions that reflect their beliefs and values, be it good or bad. Unfortunately, there are people who do very bad things when in the right situation. These people are to be avoided. It can be hard to tell when they’re in the right situation.
Talent isn’t a thing
People who seem talented at something seem to be people who found an interest at an early age that aligned with their ability to learn something. For example, some people may find music easier to learn than others. But everyone can learn music given enough time. Also the time it takes to learn something seems to get longer the older you get. This must be why prodigies are often young.
People who are open to opportunities seem to be labelled as “lucky”
I’ve noticed people who feel safe in comfort. People who are cynical and careful about the world. They don’t tend to believe they are lucky, and they walk past opportunities that could be great for them. There are people who are the opposite. Everyone else calls these people lucky.
“Working a passion is never working a day in your life” is a myth
If you work at what you love, you’ll see it in a different light. It’ll come to have a different place in your life. There will be times when you’re burnt out, and doing what you love will feel like a chore. I’ve felt this first hand. The good news it there will also be times when you couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Moments where you’re completely fulfilled with your career.
Never go with the flow
It seems as though going with the flow is equivalent to letting the rhythms of life dictate where your life should meander. Don’t let this happen. If bad things happen don’t just deal with it. Take it in your stride, make it something amazing. Don’t let anything control your life.
There is no single creative process
I’ve seen countless articles around the internet professing tips and tricks for improving in various disciplines. I eventually found articles that told me two opposing practices were going to make me the best at something. It was then I realised I’d have to figure it out myself.
Everyone has a life as important as yours
Take a minute to look around a city at the thousands of people passing, each one with their own life. Their own ups and downs, tragedies and heartbreaks, mixed with moments of utter joy and happiness. Each with a life as complicated as your own. Every interaction with people feels different upon this having this realisation.
Change is the only constant
Nothing ever seems static. Every year I write a letter to myself one year in the future. I’ve never ever predicted the future successfully. Too much changes, in ways I could never anticipate. It’s better to just act on things when you see them. And make everything up as you go along.
Silence doesn’t have to be awkward
The friends I’ve had the longest I can happily sit in a room with and be completely silent. Staring into space together is a valid way to spend time together. I wish I could be silent with more people. Most find it awkward and unsettling, but it doesn’t have to be.
People rarely compliment, they usually complain, but that’s okay
A designer has done an incredible job when an experience is so smooth, so painless that the user never feels obstructed by it. When this happens, there is nothing to say, the experience is as it should be. But when it feels uncomfortable, a struggle even, there is a reason to complain. The experience can be improved. But remember, complain constructively, and occasionally tell your friends they’re amazing.
Look into someone’s eyes when you talk to them. There is nothing to fear
I have two different coloured eyes, and I have friends who’ve noticed it long after we’ve met. It seems as though a lot of people find it uncomfortable to look into someone’s eyes, especially when you’ve recently met. I can understand why. It’s raw, it’s like looking into someone very deeply. You never know what you might see. But it’s a way to connect with people that feels much stronger.
Learning to deal with rejection is one of the best skills you can learn
At first, rejection is like a bitter attack at who you are. Be it talking to women, submitting articles to a publication or making music, it’s not an attack on you. It’s an opportunity to improve. It sounds harsh, but get used to it. It feels liberating to do something and feeling happy with it despite someone’s dislike. And you will improve, but only if you don’t give up.