I finished my last final for winter quarter by noon today and just like that, I am one quarter away from being halfway through my undergraduate career (hopefully).
I have to say though, I don’t think I’ll miss weeks like this past one. I’ve spent more time studying in the past week then I probably have on average of any two week periods throughout this entire quarter. By the end of it all, I owned every bit of material I learned.
Does that mean I’ll remember it by the end of the year though? Probably not.
But hopefully, what I hope I do remember are all the books I can squeeze in between breaks and small moments of serenity that I can get my hands on. Even though I’ll have a new Book Worm post up for you on Tuesday, there is one quote that I keep thinking about from my current read, The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas.
Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.
Now maybe I’ve just been reading too much Chaucer this week, focusing in on the ideas of theodicy, intent vs intentionality, etc. But this quote seemed too big to ignore.
As someone who is about to leave behind a decade in my life to enter a new one within the next month, the idea of doing things right is always on my mind somewhere. People used to ask me, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
As if I ever really had an answer for that.
Fifteen years ago, it was probably a vet because I liked animals. Ten years ago, a doctor, because that’s what I grew up around. And now, sure, I’ll throw out the words “a writer” or some other dream I know I want to chase, but there’s one that I’ve never quite said out loud because of how cliche the idea can really be.
When I grow up, just like I am every time I look back, all I want is to be doing something right.
So how does one measure what is right?
I guess if we had that question answered, so many of us wouldn’t still be asking. To measure the success of being right, of doing all of this right, I think at some point we have to accept there isn’t only one answer.
Just like I don’t feel ready for my finals until I feel ready. Maybe that takes me a week straight of studying and maybe that takes someone else just a few hours. It depends on us.
That feeling of doing something right, it’ll come down to me.
Sometimes I joke with my parents that they can come visit me in ten years, but they’d have to be okay with cramming the few of us into my little box of a home because that’s all I’m going to be able to afford. Either that, or I move back in with them, assuming they haven’t retired, up and left already. The empty nester’s ultimate goal.
All joking aside though, sometimes I wonder how adults figured it all out. I mean, yes at age 18 I am considered an adult but let’s be honest, maybe young adult at best. The idea used to be karma for me— if I do everything right and check all the boxes, everything will simply fall into place. Because I deserve it.
But I’ve learned over the years that karma isn’t quite all there is; it doesn’t always work out that way. Things probably usually don’t.
So maybe I’ll check all the boxes, I’ll keep doing what I feel is right, and things still go wrong. Does that mean it’s my fault, that at some point along the way I made a wrong turn or if doing right doesn’t get me where I want, then what’s the point?
No, in reality, I think it just means that we have to fight a little harder and push through all the problems standing in our way.
Because, though I might talk about it more on Tuesday, equality isn’t the same as equity and neither is the same for the circumstances any of us are born into. For some people, things are bound to work out differently due to where our lives fall within the brackets opportunity. And that’s that.
I could ask every parent I know if they ever felt like they were doing exactly what they needed to be to get where they wanted, but if I asked my own, I don’t even think they would have a solid answer for that.
Maybe we all figure it out eventually because we keep doing our own version of right and find ourselves changing, our paths turning, along the way. There are no guidelines, no right boxes to check and no true rules to follow (technically).
Hopefully for me, all answers on that english final were right this morning and I can watch a good grade fall into my GPA. But one way or another, all’s is well that ends well.
All we have are the today’s to do something right and let the rest fall into place.