Prelim season is officially back and we are all caught up in the midst of assignments, problem sets, homework and the occasional fun night out. In the whirlwind of all that work, the one thing I truly miss is the freedom of being a five-year-old child.
As a kid, I never worried about assignment submissions or grade point averages. All I cared about was whether or not I had to eat my vegetables, and when my favorite TV shows were on. The biggest unanswered question of my life was, “Who moved my toys?” and the biggest feeling of triumph came when I managed to convince my parents to push back bedtime by another 15 minutes.
Now, I’ll admit some of these childlike concerns have not left me. I will do anything in my power to free up some time so that I can binge watch seasons of TV shows on Netflix. I also still feel a rush of excitement when I eat an entire dinner composed of solely junk food without a sliver of green appearing on my plate.
However, there are other things that I would love to go back and explain to little five-year-old me. The first and most important thing I’d tell myself is this: sleep is a beautiful, wondrous thing, and fighting to stay awake is really not worth it. When I now look up at my phone and see that it’s past 2 a.m., I silently curse the younger me for not cashing in enough sleep for present me. The second thing I’d go back and tell myself is to look around and see the magic in the world. I agree, this statement is completely cliche. However, it is so important to stop and look around and appreciate everything that is around you. Every single time I walk back from Central Campus to North Campus, I can’t help but think how blessed I am to be studying at such a beautiful university. In that short walk, I can go from being stressed about my crazy workload to completely at peace with myself and with everything around me.
On the other hand, I wish there were some things I could “re-learn” from my inner child. I wish I was as carefree as my younger self. We spend too much time worrying about how the world perceives our actions, and in doing this, we forget to enjoy our own lives. We just need to accept that making everyone content is not humanly possible, so the best thing to do is to ensure that we are happy with ourselves and not worry about what any one else may think or believe. The other thing I wish I could take away from my younger self is the ability to forgive myself. As we grow older, we become more self-critical and every tiny mistake seems to be a huge blunder on our part. However, if we could just learn to forgive ourselves and move on, our lives would be much easier.
Thus, as the semester progresses and the weight of the world begins to slowly bear on your shoulders, remember to hear the voice of your inner child — nine times out of ten, it knows what it’s talking about.
Chandreyee Mukherjee is a freshman in the College of Engineering. She enjoys singing, eating and daydreaming whenever she can spare five minutes from homework. Her blog appears on alternate Wednesdays this semester and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.