ephemeral / transient / fleeting / transitory / fugacious
It’s 45 minutes away from the end of January, and I’m here in my college dorm room, thinking about this past month. My fluorescent lamp is broken and my room is dark, but for the most part, it’s been a good month.
Of course, there was some turbulence along the way. I spent the first three weeks of January preparing for the SAT, and with it came a plethora of vulnerabilities: dealing with College Board customer service, the lingering moodiness after a bad practice test, and the nascent worry that would float sporadically to the front of my mind – am I ready for this?
Part of this strange uneasiness is the recognition of the fact that in half a year, I’ll be sending off postmarked applications to universities across the world, detailing my thoughts and dreams, my achievements and some of my failures. It seems very much like an exercise in efficient marketing: explain and describe your being in 4000 characters and a few pages of paper. Thus I think the most important aspect of this process is to understand who I truly am and what I want to become. It’s rather nerve-wracking. A year ago in January, I enthusiastically set off to live alone in Kuala Lumpur on a three-month internship as a software programmer, an experience that convinced me that computer science was not for me and left me again without direction. Fast forward a year and I find myself with a clearer head and compass. I think I now understand better who I am.
On the 24th I traveled down to Subang Jaya to take the SAT. I had arranged meetings with some of my friends studying in KL, and frankly I couldn’t wait for the test to end so that I could talk to them again. I met up with Chun Horng, Michelle, Anzo and Yi Kye, and it felt amazing to see them and talk about the past and portend about the future. Now that I’m in college in an isolated jungle, these are the people I find myself thinking about when it’s past 12am and I can’t sleep. I send messages to them and hope they reply. Occasionally I boot up my laptop and look through the photos from the past – pictures from the IMO, family trips, birthday celebrations. Some nights I miss them so much my body seems to ache!
As January draws to a close, I want to remind myself to put things in perspective. Living in a small boarding school has this tunneling effect, and I often find myself worrying and moping about tiny little issues that seem so gargantuan under the microscope of this college. As of this moment, many things are OK with the world and my life. In a few minutes I will flip my desk calendar to ‘February’ knowing that it will perhaps bring even more (unwarranted) tumult and worry than this month has brought. But I know that at the end of it all I’ll be here again, reflecting about what’s happened and what’s not happened, and realize that things are indeed…fine.
Have a happy February!