Just to be clear, by little sister, I mean a sister that is 2 years younger than me. She was feeling the pressures of university life and felt like the world was against her.
Now if you must know, I absolutely hate giving advices that I don’t practice. As the saying goes, practice what you preach. So since I usually always feel like I cant stand by my words, I tend to just say “whatever it is I am here for you”, rather than suggesting solutions or sparking thoughts.
However, my sister’s rant to me was one of a kind. And it was extremely relatable. I won’t go too much into her personal problems, but it basically revolves around trying to find her place in the school and feeling like she belongs.
I too, used to struggle with finding my identity in such a big ocean. I was used to being a big fish in a small pond, that is, until I got into university. You’d think you’re already near the top but you realise there’s just about 30000 people on par with you and that makes me feel lost and dispensable. For a whole freshman year I joined whatever was deemed ideal or what would get me more friends. I figured, the more friends, the more I’ll find groups to belong to. The more activities in school I have, the more beautiful my resume would look like. Needless to say, I came out of freshman, loaded with paper achievements, but not happy as I was told I would feel. For a while I was dark and was sad about it. Helpless and alone in the crowd of friends I thought would be friends of virtue for life.
One day, I woke up and just like that, I decided to change my life. Why did I have to rely on my university to fluff up my resume? Why do I need to be in many school activities to show skills and leadership talents? Why am I depending on my university for a bright future? Why am I living life revolving around my university?
Friends? Why do I need so many? I have quite a few solid friends who never left, and a few new ones who always have my back despite the different courses.
School activities? Why do I need so many? Why do I need to fight for leadership roles that seem attractive? Why do I need to belong to a group in school? Based on my career plans, none of the school activities are in line with that, so why not branch out and source for groups that I actually want to be a part of.
Basically, I had a broadened mindset and quit the losers attitude. I listened to my sister’s rants and from there, I slowly started to give her insights, based on my experience and how I made it, how I am slowly making it. This reminded me of the time I gave a pep talk to my student. Eventually, she realised the world around her is her oyster so she started to ease up and find real solutions to her problems.
Based on this experience, I’d like to bring up that we tend to give empty advices and “model answers” very casually without really considering the possible consequences of our words. Words are powerful, yes. But they’re even more powerful from someone you hold dear to, or you look up to. So when our friends or loved ones seek advice, be careful what you say, because it could change their life one day.
Side note: As I was talking to her about how she can change her life and gave her options, I noticed how I’ve changed. It’s almost akin to the effect of writing a blog and learning from the recollection. With this, I’m really glad to be able to say that I have grown, and I am still growing. I hope all of you are too 🙂