The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Life’s lessons

Ruminations on college life

Well, foschizzle my nizzle! This year has gone by faster than aguy can run at the brief mention of “commitment.”

For the past year, I’ve shared my life with those who readthis weekly column. This is a breakthrough for someone who couldnever share her life with anyone, but all it took was honesty— honesty with myself and with others. It’s so simple,yet it seemed to be the hardest thing for me to do.

I know I’ve made life out to be a joke, but if you mustknow, I’m not all kicks and giggles. Truth be told, I’ma girl who loves laughter but find myself often hiding behind it.I’m a girl who spends half my time thinking about life andthe other half writing about it.

For my final issue, I’m going to take away the humor andthe sarcasm. I’m allowed to have just one serious article,right?

Like Mozart with his music, I have all of these pre-composedthoughts in my head, waiting to be manifested through hundreds andhundreds of pages filled with unencumbered words. I’ve beenhanging onto these pages, and hopefully, when I return in the fall,I’ll not only be a year older but also a publishedauthor.

Words tell you about a person’s life, hopes andaspirations. When you read, don’t you feel as though theauthor is sharing his/her life with you? That for a brief moment,your life becomes the author’s life? That your lives areintertwined in some way? I’ve studied numbers my entire life,and numbers tell you that 1+1=2, but words … words tell youwhat the heart longs to say. I’ve always favored words overnumbers.

This year has been a turning point in my life. So much hastranspired within the past year that writing down everything that Iobserved about the world seemed to be the only outlet for me. Ilost both of my grandparents over the holidays, and I’ve beenstruggling with my own declining health. But what is the realreason behind this column and behind writing all together? Well,what’s a story without a love interest? It’s like asong without a muse. Johnny Goodbar — thank you for being mymuse.

As I stumbled my way through a long and arduous year of endlessself-evaluation, I realized that this is what college is all about.To lose yourself, only to find yourself again; to experience love,loss and humility; to find out what you are truly made of afterlife decides to make you the target for its next practical joke; torediscover yourself constantly — therein lies the excitementof growing.

I realized something else — that I had to revisit myoriginal dreams and aspirations, and in doing so, I found someone.I found that little girl with the big eyes and even bigger dreams;that girl who at the age of 6 ran around with her hair in pigtails,telling everyone that she was going to become an author — notjust a writer but an author. I lost that girl somewhere in thepursuit of someone else’s dreams, but I’ve found hernow that I’ve rediscovered my dreams.

If that wasn’t enough, all those sleepless nights broughtme to more of life’s lessons. What is it that makes lifeworth living? Have you ever stopped to think about that? Most of usare probably too busy to stop and think about these things, butthey’re in the back of our mind, and they resurface every nowand then when we have our moments of self-evaluation; when no oneelse is in the room, and you are forced to look at yourself.

My father answered that question for me: “Love is the onlything that makes life worth living. If you don’t have love,then to hell with everything else, because nothing elsematters.”

He was right. It is the love of music that makes you a listener.It is the love of words that makes you a poet. It is the love ofanother that makes you a better person and the love for anotherthat makes you human.

I find that love is all too often fought over between the mindand the heart. It’s a tricky game and a costly battle.Thoughts, ideas, concepts and perceptions constantly change.That’s how we are able to learn, but that also makes the mindeasily corruptible. The mind can be conditioned to think a certainway. The heart, however, is something completely different and inits purest form. It remains uncorrupted, untainted by outsideinfluences. Learn to listen to it carefully. And wherever you go,go with all your heart, because it will never lead you astray.

I used to be the sort of person who tried to rationalizeeverything. I intellectualized my feelings so much that I could nolonger decipher what I felt as real or simply the result of adrawn-out thought process. Why do we insist on thinking about lovewhen love is not something that is based on reason?

Consider an equation. Every equation comes with conditions,parameters and, to some extent, expectations. You expect theequation to work out a certain way if you’ve manipulated itcorrectly. You know that an equation has an answer, and theslightest changes to the equation alter the answer. Love is not anequation with variables, with conditions or parameters. It cannotbe integrated or derived; it cannot be manipulated. The value oflove, unlike the value of X, is constant. It is the answer to allof your equations. Love is the answer that you’ve beenlooking for in the back of the book and will be for the rest ofyour life.

Too few are fortunate enough to find their calling in life.I’ve found mine. Until next year, happy reading.


Ann Truong is a columnist for The Daily Campus. She may bereached at [email protected].

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