Somewhere in the ecosystem of the world, someone thought giving me a Chronicle column would a good idea. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a fabulous idea. Get ready for a year of shade throwing, life lessons and the irreverent thought or two.
When sitting down to write this article, I kept asking myself “what can I really tell people?” I realized it’s not about what I could say but what I could share. So, for my virginal Chronicle appearance, I’m going to share with y’all five life lessons that I’ve learned in my three years at dear old Duke!
A little nip slip is OK
It’s college, we all f**k up so don’t be ashamed of it. In all honestly, get ready for some really bad ones because they’re going to happen and you will have to deal with it. What I have learned is that screwing up may suck but the lessons you learn from them are extremely helpful. From procrastinating on that 15-page essay final to #winning at that Shooters pregame, you’ll find that each screw-up comes with its own life lesson that will make you a better person in the future. (Well, if you learn from them.) If it makes you feel better, think of them as freckles on the face of your college career. Some people call them imperfections but we can all agree that they are low-key hot.
Do the thinkie, wrap your twinkie.
As I said, these life lessons are all things I learned from my own mistakes—however, this one does not mean that I have illegitimate children running around. This lesson is all about cleaning up your act and being responsible for your actions. For me, college was the first time I was really on my own. I didn’t have mom or dad waking me up so that I got to class on time or even an elder sibling fighting my battles against bullies. I was alone and that meant I needed to up my responsibility game. That research paper I should have started three weeks ago or that class I should have gone to, all of that was on me. It’s a little daunting to be responsible for so much in such a short amount of time. Every little mistake was my fault but more importantly, every success was all me. It’s great to wake up and think, “You the mother f****in’ man, you don’t need no help.”
The library is not the only place where you can read.
Being responsible for your actions is not only what you do, but also how you let others treat you. For those of you who are unaware of the proper use of the verb read, reading is when you kindly (just kidding, more like not so kindly) let someone know that: 1. They are wrong, 2. You are right and 3. They are a buffoon. It’s all about standing up for yourself. You dictate how people treat you. So when someone has the audacity to say something slick, you must read them and put them in their proper place. Beyoncé said it best “Bow down b****.” However, excessive reading can be a problem. I’m not advising anyone to destroy the will of others. Just be cognizant that we are all grown ups—or at least some close approximation to adulthood—and we should all treat each other with respect.
The grass is never greener on the other side.
One thing that I quickly realized about Duke students is that we’re all pretty awesome. I’ve met students who have had their research published in prestigious journals, created unique and successful startups and are just overall awesome people. Their awesomeness made me also strive to be awesome. I felt that I had to up my game to show that I deserved to be here. What I did not realize at first was that I was already awesome. There was no need for me to prove myself. At Duke, you will meet amazing people who have done extraordinary things but that does not make them trophies to put on a pedestal. We all struggle, we all have issues, we all need help and finally we all deserve to be here. Whether you’re a Humanities major or a BME/Pre-Med/Econ/Pre-Run-the-world major, you deserve to be here and you’re awesome in your own way.
Don’t be afraid to pop the cherry.
My last lesson is one that I am sure you have heard a thousand times. Don’t be afraid to try new things. College is when you explore those new horizons. I never thought I would skydive or even enjoy buffet style meals at the Marketplace (#jokes) but in college it is all fair game. The best thing I ever did in college was getting out of my comfort zone and trying things that I never thought I would try. Yes, not all of those experiences make the top ten greatest Fedner experiences but, hey, it’s all about learning. And isn’t that the point of college?
Fedner Lauture is a Trinity senior. This is his first column in a semester-long series.