Designing a Life

I find it unfortunate that you don’t get a blank slate when you become an adult.

Well, while your legal records might get a soft reset once you turn 18, everything that you’ve lived through up to this point — the poor habits, traumatic experiences and negative emotions — continue to bog you down later in life. What has happened during the most unpredictable years of your life carry on to when we’re most stable.

I’ve decided that while I’m still young, I’m going to take some time to change all of that. There’s a lot that I have to work on, but just don’t have the time necessarily to do so.

Looking back, I wasted the summer before my freshman year of college. If I had known what an arduous journey getting accustomed to the university lifestyle, I wouldn’t have sat around doing nothing constructive for those two months after I graduated.

Jim Collins

College, even though we’re now on our own, doesn’t let us take responsibility for the most basic things in life like feeding ourselves, finding a source of income and time management. As I’m going through freshman year living in a dorm with a meal plan, it’s essentially just an extended version of sleepaway camp. I have given schedules for eating, classes and generally, sleeping. There’s not a whole lot of independence to this new setting that I’m in other than the fact that my parents aren’t around to tell me to do my homework or to make my bed anymore.

So, in order to take advantage of the fact that I graduated a year ahead of my high school class, I’m taking this upcoming summer to reinvent myself. As symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders slowly fade with the help of new medications and improving weather, I’ve drafted up three key elements to improve on as I venture into the world without any training wheels:

  1. Bodymaintaining a healthy lifestyle through good eating habits and exercise, limiting risky behavior
  2. Mindensuring mental healthiness through personal expression and retrospective thought, becoming a more socially and intellectually intelligent person through study and forming new relationships
  3. Lifefinding fulfillment through having control over every aspect and becoming financially independent, learning life skills such as cooking and time management to become a self-sustaining person 

Through these drafted up ideas, I will enter my sophomore year a new man. I’ll be someone who can take care of myself, enjoy life as it was meant to be and receive an excellent education all at the same time. I’ll be taking a few summer classes — both online and on campus — as I test run this so it will mimic an actual school year. I don’t want to wake up someday and wonder what the hell I should do to feed myself.

As I get ready to view apartments to settle into on my own, I hope you will join me and witness my metamorphosis.

Thanks for reading.

-LQH