No, this is not a post about pregnancy.
Recently I’ve suffered from a strong ailment we may know as mid-undergrad crisis. Sadly I didn’t have the money to buy myself a fancy car nor did I have the time to pick up a new hobby.
My remedy? My mommy.
Perhaps I’m still a kid inside, but when it comes to difficult life choices and difficult life situations, no one seems to be quite as helpful as she is. I mean my dad’s cool too, but in a more “listen to your mother” sort of way. Maybe it’s because I know that in the past my mom was also in somewhat of the same position I’m in now, and she offers not only good life advice but also a girly conversation.
Now I realized not everyone is as close to their mother as I am with mine. I mean, I tell her everything. Except the exact numeric values of my lowest marks of course…
So I’m going to share with you some of Marina’s-mommy-motivation on various topics that I think lots of women in their early-mid 20’s have to deal with. Men too actually, though please keep in mind most of these things were told to me so they wouldn’t really be reflective of what you’d want to hear. Anything you don’t agree with, please take as a joke- cuz that’s probably how she meant it.
She also said most of these things in mandarin, I’m both translating and paraphrasing.
You are 50% your mother genetically. You were also perhaps raised in her household where inevitably some personal biases and preferences got passed over. Heard of the Electra complex? It may not be destiny but you can see some twisted sense in it.
There are some kinds of people who work really hard, and others who are naturally smart but don’t do as much work. Ideally you want to find the one who both works hard and is smart… but let’s face it- that’s near impossible and there’ll probably be a lot of competition (see below). In the end I think the ones who work harder are probably worth more in the long run, but can also be potentially boring- so figure out what you want. At the end of the day, if he isn’t an utter failure and you both can respect one another, you’re set.
In the end, it’s a lot easier for girls to chase boys than for boys to chase girls. But at the same time if there are a lot of girls chasing one boy, it may not be advantageous for you to join the race. Especially if the boy (who clearly is popular because he’s a good candidate) knows that he’s a good candidate. In that case, and while it’s not always the case, you might just be more inclined towards jealousy and potential future issues. Also competition is a pain. Use your better judgement.
Having Fun In School
This would probably apply to both genders. Lots of people in undergrad here feel the competitiveness and get driven to sit and study all day. While it works for some people and they’re okay with it, I had a big issue with the thought that I’d have to study countless hours. During my mid-undergrad crisis, I studied and worked more than ever before, but was completely less productive. The essays I wrote were horrid and the experiments I ran gave the exact opposite result as was expected. Stress is not fun.
Motherly (+ a bit of fatherly) advice:
The undergraduate age is the one I remember the most. All the fun I had and people I met, I still remember vividly to this day. So you really should go spend more money. (That was the fatherly bit.)
At the end of the day, your physical and mental health are the most important. If you die, you won’t make it in life. If you go crazy, you’ll have a much, much harder time making it in life. So do something good for your body. Go take some course at this “Hart House” you keep telling me about. Try dancing – I was good at it, you should be too. Stop staring at your computer screen all day because you’ll end up distracted anyways. While you want to do generally well in school, you also don’t want to snap and end up like what’s-her-name’s daughter who got straight 4.0s throughout undergrad, went insane, and threw things at her parents before going on a tour around Asia and… who knows what she’s doing now anyways!
Career vs Family
I get a bit controversial here, please be nice to me and my mommy. This is more a look at feminism now days too as women are a strong part of the work force but we still are the ones to biologically get pregnant.
You don’t want to settle down and have kids until you have the money. That’s not to say you aren’t allowed to start looking for potential partners now, but keep in mind you do have a lot of time if you plan on doing continual education. Unless you find your ideal man now, it’s better to focus on your career. Of course, do remember that your future family life is also an important thing to plan for. But I think until you reach the ripe age of 22-24, you probably aren’t completely ready to think about that – and I mean truly think about it. Of course, if by 24 you aren’t engaged yet, I might get a little worried…
At the end of the day, all things will come. At this current stage of life you’re in, your career should be the biggest priority, with other future plans as a secondary priority. Now this might change for you in a few years when you start to lose fertility, but even then you still have lots of time left. So don’t worry too much about family planning now – you can afford to worry about it in a few years time when your career will (hopefully) be less of a worry.
Concluding Mommy Motivation
Don’t let a couple of bad grades on your courses drive you nutty. Look at the broader picture and remember that the entrance average for a lot of programs is in fact, the average: there are people admitted with lower GPAs. So don’t give up, make a backup plan to deal with the stress and then keep aiming for the same goal. Chances are, you’ll make it – otherwise you’ll have a backup all ready so you won’t need to do more stressing over that. And always remember, that at the end of the day your father and I will always be proud of you.
While this may have given you a bit to think about or just a few laughs is really up to you. But I’ve become quite inspired by this rare trip home and really needed to share the joy. Perhaps this was the best time for it as well.
Happy Exams, everyone!