I graduated from Middlebury College as a Molecular Biology and Biochemistry major. After taking all of the required classes for this major plus additional general distribution classes, I am confident in the following:
- identifying cultural appropriation
- managing my time efficiently
- writing a scientific manuscript
- isolating DNA from both human and bacterial cells
- amplifying DNA billions of times using PCR
- gram staining bacteria
I felt like my “general” knowledge was pretty solid, until my mom flew back home to Maine, leaving me all alone in my new house in Boulder, Colorado. Immediately, the gaping holes in my understanding of basic living became painfully apparent. Because you know what I never really learned? IMPORTANT AND EXTREMELY NECESSARY THINGS
how does a credit card even work? and how do I get wifi in my house? and how do I pay the wifi bill? and how do I pay rent if I haven’t been paid yet? and how do I get car insurance? and do I need renter’s insurance? anybody…?
Admittedly I’m embarrassed (like so embarrassed), but I can’t be the only human to make it 22 years without learning this stuff…right?! I was feeling frustrated with myself and actually pretty dumb. Everybody seems to figure this stuff out, so why am I struggling with it? After a few emotional breakdowns, dozens of google searches, and incredible generosity on my mom’s behalf to help me out while I get on my feet, I recognize that I am still learning. But I am in the position of having so many resources to help me out through this transition. As much as I wanted to be super independent and immortal and self-sufficient, I am still learning that it’s okay to not know all the answers. It’s okay to ask for help.
I think I was also mistaken in believing there was an end to the whole figuring it out thing. But maybe this is just life. Like doesn’t everybody seem to be in a chronic process of “figuring it out”? The point can’t possibly be to actually figure it all out, because then what?
I think it’s important to remember that life is just one big learning process. Don’t freak out when everything is a little bit foreign and unfamiliar, embrace it and enjoy the change of scenery. The more questions we ask, the more answers we’ll get. The things we wonder about- our individual curiosities- will pull us in the “right” direction. We’ll get to wherever we need to be. But for now, focus less on figuring it all out…because wouldn’t that be boring?! One step at a time…