Life’s little lessons

By Kendall Tich


Before you know it, you will be wondering where your time in college went. And soon after that, you’ll be looking back on your entire education wondering why growing up happened so fast. In my 20 years of existence, I have learned not to give up, not to be afraid of showing vulnerability, not to become obsessed with fitting a certain image and not to sweat the small stuff. However, it took me a number of years to truly embrace these lessons.

Failure: a lack of success. I used to be afraid to fail. I used to look at a test and think there was no way I would do anything but fail even though I had studied the entire night before. I used to joke about failure with my friends and laugh about it like it was something that was so inescapable it became funny. And I was right — failure is inevitable. Failure is also what makes brilliant people so great.

Do you ever wonder how many times it took Steve Jobs to get the iPhone design just right or how many times it took Thomas Edison to invent the lightbulb? Well I wasn’t there, so I can’t tell you exactly how many times but neither of them tried one thing and immediately succeeded right after. It took them multiple tries before they figured things out but in the midst of all that failure, they found success.

So in other words, do not be afraid to fail. Some of the greatest inventions came from ideas and mistakes that appeared as failures at the time. Fail at letting go because you know you’re strong enough to hold on, fail at giving up because you believe in yourself enough to keep trying — fail so much that the only option left is to succeed.

Crying: the shedding of tears in response to an emotion. I used to see crying as weak and childish. I saw it as something to be ashamed of when really it is something to embrace.

Crying is a complete glimpse into the vulnerability of the human race and can be one of the easiest ways to genuinely express how you feel. Crying is having the courage to admit you need help, the strength to let others see you at your weakest moments and the power to let your emotions consume you in a way that only tears can do.

So cry when you’re sad, cry when you’re happy, cry when you have absolutely no reason to cry at all. Cry to your mom that you miss her while you’re at school, cry to your friends when your ex starts seeing someone else and cry to the TV when your favorite character leaves the show. Crying is more than tears rolling out of your eyes — it is one of the most genuine ways to show how you truly feel to yourself and to others.

Eat: to put food into the mouth and chew and swallow it. It’s easy to get caught up in the healthy lifestyle that USD and California hold in such high regard. While it is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly, taking it too seriously can lead to unhappiness in the form of eating disorders, anxiety and depression.

So eat: eat a hotdog at the Padres game, eat popcorn at the movies and eat that last piece of cake at your friend’s birthday party. Your thighs may not always thank you but your feelings will.

Spill: to cause or allow something to flow over the edge of its container. When I was 10, I went to a fancy restaurant with my parents, siblings and grandparents. While talking and eating, my grandpa, who was about 70 at the time knocked over an entire jug of water and it spilled all over the table. As a child, this appears funny but as an adult, it feels embarrassing and clumsy.

Spills aren’t always so upsetting though. Spilling reminds us not to take life so seriously, to lighten up and be less consumed by small worries that end up being so insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

In fact, spilling can be a really good thing. Spill your heart out to the one you love, spill your deepest secret to your best friend, spill your questions and opinions to your class and professor and spill your happiness onto the rest of the world.

Whether it be failing a test, crying in front of someone you hardly know, eating the last cookie your roommate makes or spilling water all over the SLP floor, dreading over small, insignificant mistakes can end up ruining your overall life experiences. As cliché as it may sound, many of the mistakes we make in life turn into our greatest opportunities to learn and grow.