Signs of life outside of academia

(Riddhi Jani)

If you are by any chance a billionaire who founded a start-up, please either marry me or hire me. 

In the highly unlikely event that you do not fall in this category, then you are invited to join me in a pity party for an ‘x’ amount of people. However, the dress-code must be strictly adhered to 20-something year olds who spent four (or more… no judgements) years pursuing a degree that is not ‘terminal,’ as our parents lovingly remind us. In other words, sweatpants and hoodies will do.

I will spare you the Invictus quote and instead give you unsolicited and slightly plagiarized advice from a dead English dude; Shakespeare, in case the list of said dudes was too long because instant gratification.

“What’s past is prologue.”

This quote infuriates me to no end because we have a tendency of cutting quotes short — kind of like those viral 10 second clips plucked from 20-minute long TedXTalks or that one about Jack and trades and master (this word gives me PTSD).

Now, I’ll save your thumbs from a HIIT workout (the only thing my degree has taught me) and share with you the entire quote.

“What’s past is prologue. Whereof of what’s past is prologue; what to come, in yours and my discharge.”

People often incorrectly think it means the past predicts the future — that what’s to come has already been decided. But the full quote says the opposite. In simpler terms, Shakespeare is yelling at you from the grave that we get to write our own fate. 

The past is simply shit that comes before the first act.

While I urge you to take this philosophical horse manure with a grain of salt — because really, what do I know? — I am in the same sinking Titanic-vibes boat as you, except we ain’t no Rose or Jack — and really no one wants to be a Jack. 

Still, I think I am onto something here. Some of us have had a breakthrough and are currently in the midst of our first acts — having our first full-time jobs lined up, starting grad school, getting married, or doing it all.

And some of us (like me) are still waiting for our big break while stuck in a limbo. And I am slowly coming to the realization that that is fine too — even though everyone is telling us that it’s not. 

However, what is not fine is that we think we are in limbo, because that is not true. Time stops for no one; especially not for almost broke students soon-to-be just broke. So, while we are sitting in the waiting room, how about we start learning who we are and not just what we want. 

There’s a beauty in knowing your place in the world, in loving yourself, and knowing your worth. Live and take chances, even if you do not accomplish what you set out to do.

Yeah, shit is gonna get real real soon, but let’s start embracing storms and torrential downpours because sunshine is sometimes overrated. Let’s get lost in our paths, pick the road less traveled— and then decide that it’s’ super creepy at night and so we walk back and choose mainstream options. 

Sometimes, getting lost along your path is part of finding the one you were meant to be on.

I am going to end this with a fun fact. The poppy has not just survived, but astonishingly flourished on battlefields. It has been smashed by boots and tanks, and the whole first industrial war the world had ever seen. Poppies are strong, stubborn, and impossible to break.

Be a poppy. Always.

About the Author

By Maryam Nihal

Former Editor

Maryam is a fourth-year student majoring in Kinesiology and Health Science. She's a huge fan of anything sports related, but loves to explore the sports realm beyond the stats and the numbers. When she’s not fielding calls from ESPN, you can find her studying, re-watching Crash Landing on You, and listen to the Taylor’s Version albums — all at the same time.


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