These Times, They Are A-Changin'
Time’s moving a little too fast these days.
I’m going to be honest, it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve written one of these things.
Since then, I’ve certainly lived through enough to write blogs about - the rest of my abroad experience, a comfortably familiar winter term (where I basically just relived the first three weeks of my summer, back at the Brooklyn Zoo parkour gym), returning to Oberlin after being gone for so long, an entire spring semester. And now? An entire summer spent at Oberlin, doing CS research and working on some of my own personal goals.
Half-written drafts cluttered my computer, trying to make some kind of narrative out of all these sudden transitions, and yet, none came to fruition. Nothing felt right to write about.
It felt like I couldn’t find my blogging voice anymore.
In my reflection on this curious writer’s block, I reread my own blogs, and realised something.
Blogging was a medium which I had mostly used to process my own struggle with, and discovery of, self-identity.
In his blog, Kam writes of one of his role models in his freshman year, and how he sought to emulate aspects of her character. Three years later, he finally realised he had taken on many of those qualities he hoped to become.
Kam’s story gave me pause.
Was I not writing because I had already become the person I wanted to be?
Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?
My sophomore spring semester was difficult. I had felt trapped, lost, and insecure. I didn’t have a strong sense of self or purpose, and I questioned why I was at Oberlin.
I considered transferring, and instead, I decided to study abroad.
And then… a year passed. Life kept going, and so did I.
More importantly, something interesting happened. Somewhere along the way, I reclaimed my confidence and authenticity. I became the person that I wanted to be, and the person that I needed to be.
When I look back, it seems so inevitable.
Rereading those old blogs felt like coming home. I could feel myself in those words, and clearly remember being the person who wrote them. I smiled as I reminisced over the victories and struggles of the last three years.
I saw doubt, but I could also see my growth, how sure I was to change.
So why did I have to worry so much?
Oberlin has shaped me more than I realised.
Now, I’m not just saying that because I’m being paid for these blogs. I genuinely believe that if I had gone to another school (or not gone at all), I also would have become someone I was proud of. A slightly different person perhaps, who defined himself differently, but ultimately, still - myself.
But it’s undeniable the influence Oberlin has had on me.
Like Kam, I’ve had role models throughout my years here – people who have energized me with their genuineness, galvanised me with their passion, and inspired me to live my better self.
It’s at this place that I found a life passion in tricking, made some of my closest friends, and gained so many new perspectives on life.
And so I’m about to enter my senior year.
Two more semesters. 28 more weeks of classes. A quantifiable and measured number of days.
I should be terrified. Or at least, I should be sorrowful. After all, this summer just slipped right by.
Instead, I can’t help but beam, and be grateful for the last three years here. And I can't wait to start what will surely be my best year at Oberlin College.
When I really think about it, time doesn’t feel like it’s moving too fast. It feels just right, because it’s left its mark on me.
Soon enough, I’ll be graduated.
And then whatever comes next?