Happiness Isn’t A Given, You Have To Chase It Down


I started college more that two years ago. Back then, everything felt rushed. I rushed to do everything. I became president of two organizations and played a varsity sport for three years. I took ACT classes as a sophomore. I rushed to apply for every reputable college that I had the time for. I rushed into the next chapter of my life. I rushed into choosing a major – one that that sat in between my mother’s need for me to become a doctor and my father’s desire for me to become an engineer. Typical. So in typical fashion, I chose Biomedical Engineering.

And if you asked me then, I didn’t regret it. I didn’t regret it because I like guarantees. There’s nothing wrong with liking guarantees. So I counted my blessings and went to one of the best engineering universities in the nation.

There, I got lost. I wasn’t sure of what I was doing and who I was without the smothering guidance of my parents. So inevitably, I drifted. I cut class, something I never did in high school. I lost myself in a temporary haze of alcohol abuse and felt myself fall into a pit that was hard to get out of. I fell from grace – me, once a honor roll high school student. Arguably the last person you’d find in the places you could have my freshman year of college.

And there’s a lot that has happened in between then and now, but I know this with absolute certainty:

You can’t blame them. You can’t blame anyone for where you are in your life – that is, you can’t blame anyone except yourself.

So stop passively allowing life to happen to you. Stop accepting circumstances, accepting life. Be active. Be vocal. Choose to write or run or sing or analyze data or whatever it is that you want to do in your life.

There are no guarantees in life. You may be successful doing what is expected of you. You almost certainly won’t be happy. Happiness isn’t a given. So chase your happiness down, your knuckles bloody and your knees scraped. Chase it down with all you’ve got, because that fight is all you have. That and the regrets you’ll have to live with if you don’t fight.