So. We’re probably halfway through the semester and my fifth class just started. I’m recommissioning a geartruder extrusion device in senior lab, learning about Noh theatre in my Japanese culture class, and designing process flows — all while trying to convince myself that quantum theory isn’t just some joke that physicists are playing on the rest of us. Basically, I’m busy. I get enough sleep to last the day but it’s usually a pretty exhausting endeavor. Waking up for crew practice probably isn’t helping. This semester’s is turning out to be pretty tough because of the way my schedule worked out. So, why?
Well, because I want to.
A lot of people ask me what I like most about the University of Rochester. It’s not the campus or the professors or the food or the dorms or the traditions, but rather a conglomerate of them all. For example, some students at Rochester hit up the Starbucks daily and are always carrying their travel mugs so that the coffee is 60 cents cheaper. We (yes, I’m one of them) are a little crazy. On any given day you can hear us talking about the late night we had for the third night in a row. Again – why? We could just go to sleep and stop hunting for obscure literature references and not fully complete the assignment, but we don’t rest — even when we’re weary. If you ask one of us how we’re doing we’ll inevitably end up saying some variant of “you get used to it.” On the surface, that doesn’t seem very encouraging, but we do, and we have, because realistically we’re doing what we want to be doing. Somewhere in our heart, no matter how long we’ve been studying, we’ve got a flickering interest and love for recommissioning geartuder extrusion devices. And it’s reflected everywhere – from student participation to professor involvement, to the speed at which your TAs email you back. You may never notice it, but you’ll notice its effects.
I’m bad at doing what I don’t want to do. That’s why I know I like studying engineering and rowing. Everyone at Rochester is working hard because they enjoy their work. Sometimes the assignment may not be fun or the reading may not be the most tantalizing prose ever written, but the motivation behind it is enjoyable. Whatever you end up studying, wherever you end up studying it, I hope that you all find your passion and pursue it with others who feel similarly.