Life & Priorities: Things That Get in the Way

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post, and I feel bad about that. But also, I don’t. It’s been busy the past few weeks; I had the flu, then I started real work in the lab, it’s midterm time, and my wisdom teeth are breaking the skin (which, if you’re unfamiliar, means a lot of pain and trouble sleeping).

I feel bad because I made a commitment to write here. I don’t feel bad because life got in the way; sometimes that’s a good thing. In recent weeks I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking (easy to do when you have the flu and can barely manage to get up, let alone do homework). I had seen some old friends before I got sick, and they reminded me of how life used to be–and in turn, how much it has changed. In high school, I had a lot of friends. I was a social butterfly, and that had it’s pros and cons. I once had someone essentially end a close friendship with me because, “I had changed”. In reality, I don’t think the fundamentals of my personality have changed in years (As a psych major, I don’t say this lightly; I know that people do in fact change their personalities, I just feel that mine has been very stable over time).

Now I am in college, and while I might be almost unrecognizable as a person from the girl many of my high school friends first met during our freshman year, it’s not because the fundamental aspects of my personality have changed. I am still an incredibly social person, very agreeable and conscientious, and a little bit neurotic about some things. I’m always running a tiny bit late, I still put little to no effort into controlling my hair, and I’m an avid reader.

What has changed since that time is how I organize my priorities. In high school, I easily earned As and Bs and graduated in the top 25% of my class. I didn’t try that hard, I didn’t study that much, and frankly–outside of math class–it all came very easily to me. At that time, I focused more on being social; I dated, I went out with my friends (although nothing truly wild happened), and I played sports. College changed that for me. I still have friends that I hang out with, but working hard and studying have really become focus points for me. Because I never had to study that hard in high school–or at least because I felt I didn’t–I had never really learned study habits, so the first thing I really learned in college was not chemistry or psychology, it was how to really study. Especially once I transferred, I started focusing on school even more. There are reasons for this, but that’s a story for another time.

It’s true that people change, and in fact personalities can and most likely will change over time. It goes deeper than that though; sometimes it’s not the actual person that changes, but how they prioritize the things they have going on in their lives. ‘Do what makes you happy’ is a famous sort of saying, and for good reason. Different things make different people happy, but that doesn’t mean the same things will make you happy your entire life. These days, earning good grades and working towards a successful future is what makes me feel fulfilled. I had to grow up really fast, and it changed the way I see the world.

My point is that sometimes life gets in the way of priorities, and sometimes priorities get in the way of life. Happiness though, your happiness, is more important than anything.

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