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Ted Talks: Life’s Motivation

I think I would hate myself in the future if I let myself succumb to senioritis right now.

I really want to. It sounds tempting and fun to just not care anymore. To just let go and learn what it’s like to vegetate or do things on a whim, instead of always working really hard to try and find the right balance between school, family, and friends.

But I really do think I would hate myself if that were to happen.

I guess it’s because at some point it really hit me that life ends. Seeing family members and other people close to me battle (sometimes terminal) diseases left an indelible impact upon me. The end is very real, and it is definitely coming. Every morning when I wake up now, I realize that it’s another morning less that I’ll have to enjoy. There’s not always going to be a tomorrow, where I can learn more about what the existence of an objective morality means for humanity. I’m not always going to be able to spend extra time talking to my parents about what happened in the news today. My friends, someday, may be gone too.

It’s a decidedly dark and morbid way of viewing life. Knowing that someday I won’t wake up in the morning is a tough pill to swallow. Knowing that someday everyone I care about won’t wake up in the morning is an even tougher pill to swallow. But I’m also glad to have had this revelation hit me so hard upside the head. It’s brought a sense of urgency to my life, helping me to see that the opportunities I have must be grasped earnestly and with conviction and to persistently remind me that no matter how despondent situations may seem, there’s really no point or value in me wasting time that I won’t get back in feeling despaired. The window of opportunity for me to create the impact I want to make won’t always be there.

Morbid? Yes. But it’s also, somewhat ironically, made me more hopeful and optimistic about the future. I see more purpose in what I do and it’s brought a feeling of comfortable contentment in that the once-scary future of unknowns will always have one constant: an enduring effort to fight for what I believe in and what I love, driven on by an insistent sense of urgency that will never let me settle for less. I will always attempt to find both purpose and joy in what I do.

That extends to the here and the now. Second semester is a five month long opportunity to continue to explore and pursue.

So no, senioritis is not an option.

By Ted Zhu, Editor-in-Chief


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