On Watch: The Editor's Eye

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Pablo A. Sierra-Carmona

Change.

Yes—the word most of us seniors loathe and cringe from the mere mention of it, but give me a shot to explain my personal story and, hopefully, prove to you that change is actually not that bad.

If you didn’t know, I’m from San Juan, Puerto Rico (hence the whole “Pablo” thing). I moved to Massachusetts just three days before starting college at the age of seventeen. I knew very few people and I was stuck in a place where the language was different, which meant I couldn’t yell “¡HOLA!” The culture was different—I couldn’t greet friends or strangers with a kiss to the cheek and, most shocking of all, I was over 1,600 miles away from my parents.

Eek.

How will I survive?

Well, to my surprise—it went great. I was in good old Hanrahan Hall with a bunch of other students who, like me, loved all sorts of dorky, but awesome, things. It became the place where I could freely be myself and share my love for Glee and squirrels (we didn’t have any in Puerto Rico, so, of course, I became obsessed with them). I became this whole new Pablo who was quite different from the one back in high school.

And from that moment on, I realized that change wouldn’t be too bad at all. But that feeling left as I continued through my first semester of college.

“I HAVE TO SPEND THIS MANY HOURS IN A LAB?” “But Professor, I still don’t know how to calculate moles.” “WHAT ARE MOLES? I THOUGHT THEY WERE THINGS ON YOUR FACE.”

Yes—these were the types of questions I asked myself during that first semester of school.

During that time, I was a biology major with the goal to attend medical school. Medical school was my dream ever since I could remember. I saw the white coat as a symbol of superpower. I thought that with it I could become a very, very scrawny but Superman-type medical doctor. I mean, what’s better than that? I would be saving lives. The white coat would be my cape and my strength would be my brain. But I had a big dilemma: I couldn’t understand science whatsoever. I mean, to this day I still have trouble identifying the mitochondria in a cell diagram and it’s probably one of the most obvious cell organelles. My point is—it was hard deciding to change my dream. But they changed nonetheless. For the best, I believe.

Now my goals and ambitions are different. I must admit that most of them are pretty far-fetched. But that doesn’t mean I still can’t dream, even with the high possibility of change. Change can only affect you in a negative way if you let it. Just take the cup-half-full approach. Think positive. We usually find change terrifying because we have no control of it—it’s the universe or a Higher Being arbitrarily choosing what is to happen to you.

Both my parents told me this cliché of how you pray for a BMW and you don’t get it because God had a Mercedes planned for you all along. I’m not sure if I believe it, but hey, it doesn’t hurt, right? Like the other day I wanted to buy a dozen donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts but I’d forgotten my wallet, so, of course, I felt like it was the end of the world (I really, really, really love donuts—I even said so in my interview for Editor-in-Chief). But I ended up making guacamole—a healthier option—with two good friends. So, that’s not too bad, eh? It’s not the best example to prove my point that change is good, but in my world, donuts and guacamole are a pretty big deal.

All I can say is don’t be afraid of change. It’s inevitable. Things happen and although they might not seem like the best at first, it truly ends up working out—just like my donut and guac story.

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