How to Climb Your Staircase

“Time and Change will surely show.”

A line from our amazing school song, Carmen Ohio. I have recently been reflecting on my time here at Ohio State. I’m nearing a full two-years & time sure has shown a lot of change. At 18 I came in wanting to be a doctor because I liked the medical field. I would be able to provide for myself and because, c’mon, it sounds great saying that you’re a doctor. However, time showed that despite what I thought, I didn’t have my life figured out quite yet.

Full disclosure: I’m a goal-oriented person that loves to have a plan, yet my master plan wasn’t planning out (see what I did there). It was very hard and kind of scary to be in a place where you’re not 100% sure what you want to do with your life. Everyone says “it’s college! It’s the time to make mistakes and not have it all figured out.” Yet I was terrified because I didn’t want to take classes that wouldn’t help me graduate because my financial aid only covers four years. I thought I needed to figure it all out. However, in my reflection upon my almost two full years as a Buckeye, I’m starting to realize it’s okay to not know.

A professor of mine recently said, “if you don’t know ask, otherwise it’ll always be confusion.” Yet, sometimes when you ask you still can’t find the answer.

In reflecting on what you’ve done so far, you might realize you have the answers to questions from the past. Sometimes the answer is something only your future self can answer because it hasn’t fully panned out yet (and yes, I know I’m sounding a bit like the ending to a classic teen/young adult movie).

But in all seriousness, I don’t know what my future holds. And it’s scary to not know when everyone tells you how important this time in your life is. Quoting a great scholar (Lauren A. Nelson, myself lol) everyone’s staircases are different. Some people have fewer steps and some people have 1,000. Some people take years to climb theirs and others are done in a week. My point is to take time to enjoy your ascent up your staircase. You don’t have to know exactly what’s at the next floor, it’s okay to go back down a few steps in order to continue moving up, and it’s okay to be scared. Yet be sure to take a look back because the staircase will definitely show how it’s changed over time. You’d be surprised — steps I thought I’d never climb, I’ve blown past. Sometimes I hop back down a couple steps and have to get back up. But when I graduate, the person I am at the top of my staircase will be because I was brave enough to take the next step, even when I didn’t know what it held.

Keep Climbing Y’all,

PL Lauren Nelson