It’s May 1, which means that for the rest of the year there will be far fewer high school students walking through Gregory asking if they can take underwater rock climbing classes or visiting lectures to be the only ones without iClickers.

Senior year was one of the most fun times of my life, not only because of all of the random scootering to school with my friends, or road trips that my mom and I just had to take before it was too late, but because the future could be anything I wanted it to be.

Finally committing to a college was exciting because I knew in my heart that UT was where I wanted to be more than anywhere else. At the same time, it took away the feeling of unlimited possibilities that made me so much happier when I was younger. I would just be one person, at one school, with one major. I couldn’t keep imagining myself as an architect in the mornings, a lawyer by first period, and then an archaeologist, animator and journalist as the day went on. I was a computer scientist who was going to Texas, which opens plenty of doors, but closes some as well. It was the first time I really defined something in my life that would be difficult to change, and the opportunity cost stings a little bit.

My one regret is giving up too early on being a fairy princess. There’s probably still hope for my little sister though.

But that’s what growing up is all about. We have hard choices to make and the answers are never black and white. I’ll never know if my life would have been better if I’d stayed in California, or if I was really born to build skyscrapers.

So we stop changing our minds and instead focus on our attitudes. As a computer scientist, I can choose to see myself as an uncultured code monkey or as someone who gets to use their creativity to design the future. As a Texan, I can be my home state’s worst nightmare or a member of the nicest community in the world.

Still, sometimes I undoubtedly will regret my decision and feel like I should have done something differently. But no other path would have spared me from life’s uncertainty any better.

Anyways, I think it all comes down to the fact that happiness comes from within, and although the decisions we make seem so very personal and profound, ultimately they become just another manifestation of our external identities that can never make up for deciding for ourselves that we have inherent value in this world. Or maybe I should just be writing sappy self-help books after all.

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