“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them…”
The above lyrics are from the final song in my all-time favorite musical, “Wicked.” I’ve been thinking about these lyrics in depth for quite some time now since many of my friends have graduated and are moving on to new chapters in their lives. But even so, I’d like to devote this blog and these lyrics to a newer friend, one whom I’ve only known since spring break. I’m talking about my good friend David, who is another intern in the microbiology lab where I’ll be spending my summer. David is from Colombia, South America, and in the short time that I’ve known him, he’s taught me some invaluable life lessons.
1. “You Can Do It!” Whenever I screw up in the lab or speak negatively about my chances of getting into a graduate program related to immunology or microbiology, David always reminds me that I can do it. We put restrictions on ourselves. Yes, I may not get in to the program of my dreams, and yes, I may – and most likely will – stumble along the way, but with a positive attitude, practically anything that you truly put your mind and heart into will happen.
2. Invest in your education. I’ll admit it – sometimes I feel completely burnt out on school. I absolutely love learning, but when I realize that I’ve been in school since I’ve been six years old, it begins to feel redundant. But as David reminded me, the only thing that can truly never be taken away from you is your education. This reminder will become ever more beneficial as I continue my education during my final year at Fontbonne and beyond.
3. Be patient! Life is a process. Things take time. Whether it be the process of micropipetting a particularly viscous soap sample or the process of becoming your true self, always remember to be patient.
4. We are young. Sometimes I literally freak out. (Okay, that’s incorrect – I freak out more frequently than “sometimes.”) But that’s okay. Even though the future is super important, I don’t have to have everything figured out all at once. Going back to #3, life truly is a process, and, though I’d like to know what lies ahead, there’s no way that will ever truly happen. Therefore, it’s more beneficial to worry about doing my best in school, in work, and in my personal life now because doing so will help me to prepare for what lies ahead.
5. “La vida está llena de cosas interesantes.” (“Life is full of interesting things.”) No words could be more honest. Sometimes we forget how awesome life is. We get so dragged down by worry and responsibility and day-to-day madness that we forget how truly blessed we are to even be alive. We need to take time to partake in the famous cliche of stopping to smell the roses.
I’ve learned so much from my new friend, and I’m sad that he’ll be leaving all too soon. I’d like to think that he learned new things from me; at the very least, I know that he now has a better understanding of American terms such as “cougar” and “freaking out,” and he is much better at pronouncing similar-sounding words such as “both,” “boat,” and “bought.” So here’s to our last few days working and laughing together in the lab, and to the many future endeavors that we will share with each other via email and other virtual communications that make our world a much smaller place.
“And now whatever way our stories end, know you have rewritten mine, by being my friend…”