Stacking my L’s (and hoping it leads somewhere), By Cindy Lim
Everyone makes mistakes, and if there’s something I’ve learned in college, it’s that I have the tendency to make a lot of mistakes. A lot.
From misspelling my grad student instructor (GSI)’s name wrong on my first ever college paper, to not even knowing the name of my GSI until twenty minutes before my math midterm.
Or having awkward talks in club socials.
Or dropping a whole folder of papers while running to catch the bus.
Or thinking I showed up 10 minutes early to my 4pm class, but my class actually started at 3:30 and I was 20 minutes late.
Or being so sleep-deprived in class that I didn’t recognize my own notebook and tried to return it to the people next to me (everyone was confused).
The list goes on.
College is full of ups and downs, and as I approach my final year in college, I’m left wondering how I’m going to sum up my experience at Cal after I graduate, and what I can do in my time left here. I’ve gone through college trying to escape my feelings of social awkwardness and trying to take more initiative in my surroundings, while also trying to avoid taking too many L’s in the process.
Frankly, that wasn’t how life worked out for me (the L’s part especially); college has shaped who I am in so many ways that if I were to go back and time and give my high school self any advice, it’d be to embrace what is to come. Ups, downs, sidetracks, shortcuts, long roads. Even all the L’s that I’ve taken, no matter how cringey or humorous or maddening they stack up in my life.
As I approach senior year with so many ideas on what I want to do before I leave, I’ve learned that I wouldn’t have grown to be who I am without all of my mistakes–all my L’s. I’ve spent a lot of my time wishing that I didn’t make so many mistakes, but truthfully, I’m coming to terms with embracing them more. Because honestly, all the L’s I stacked don’t always mean losses. In fact, these experiences have lead me to so many things like love, life lessons, leadership, (en)lightenment, and definitely things to laugh about.
I know that in senior year, I’ll be taking on new leadership roles, learning how to write more creatively, getting out of my comfort zone somehow, or just exploring more of the place I’ve called home for the past three years. I think that everyone comes to college expecting to have a destination at the end of their journey, but for me ever after three years, I still have no set destination on where I will be by the end of it. And that’s kind of terrifying, but I’m learning to be more okay with it. But also, I know that I’ll have to take some L’s along the way to shape my path and help me figure all this out, and maybe they’ll help lead me somewhere.