Thursday, September 23, 2021

Dealing with obstacles important in life

Four years isn’t nearly long enough for college students to take advantage of all of the opportunities Plattsburgh State has to offer. I worry I won’t have enough time to be a part of every club and organization I wish to be involved in.

There’s always that “what if” that looms over the heads of those who have graduated, and I fear that I will be one of those people who live in the past and question if I had done something differently, would it have altered the future.

It’s called the butterfly effect — no, not the movie starring Ashton Kutcher. According to Chaos Theory, “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.”

We are the masters of our destiny, or at least we should be. College has this way in demanding that we get involved, but if you get too involved, you’re not prioritizing the right way. Every club or organization will want you to put all of your focus into that activity. But who’s to say what your priorities should be?

That’s something that should entirely be up to you. It’s your decision to create a hierarchy among all of your responsibilities. I’ve strived to make everybody happy, but it’s something I have had a difficult time doing. If nobody else around me is happy with what I’m doing, how on Earth can I be happy? I can’t.

I’ve done plenty in the course of my three years at Plattsburgh State, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. As a writer, I’ve been convinced that I can help change the world with my words, but there’s an old aphorism: “Actions speak louder than words.”

As long as you can balance all of your responsibilities, what’s wrong with doing it all? I’ll admit it — I’m a “yes man.” I agree to take on more than I possibly can because to me, it’s the right thing to do. I’m so worried about the happiness of others that I often forget about my own.

I have a collection of books sitting in my dorm room, but have I had time to read any of them? Nope. Four instruments sit in my room, dust settled on the keys I once placed my fingers on. With no time to focus on my own happiness, I have become a miserable curmudgeon enslaved to the responsibilities I must take care of on a daily basis because “it looks good on a résumé.”

But has my résumé landed me an internship yet? No. Are my colleagues pleased with my dedication, drive and focus? No. I feel like a slug lying on hot summer pavement trying to escape a 5-year-old from pouring salt on me.

Things happen for a reason, though. It has taken me years to realize that but it’s true. My life might not be heading in the direction I’d like it to, but that doesn’t mean I should give up. After all, I’ve made a career out of proving people wrong. Why stop now?

Email Chris Burek at

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