35 Minutes of Asking Why

I sat down in Langsam trying to figure out what to write for this week’s article. It’s my comeback to Her Campus, so you might think that I knew what I wanted to write about, but I didn’t. I thought I could write about my tumor, or my TEDxUCincinnati experience, but I decided against it (I’m saving those for later, don’t worry). I thought I could write about student government and review the different slates for you, but by the time that this is posted, it will be too late.

And then I overheard a very passionate conversation in Langsam. The girl speaking looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. I still can’t. What really caught my attention was that I heard her say something about how she spent “35 minutes asking why” regarding some project, and I was highly intrigued. It is so rare, that we ask ourselves “why” these days. Whether that’s the times or this day and age, or whether that’s just who we are as students, often it is hard to ask ourselves, “Why?” Why does this matter? What is the impact of this? We need to “why” ourselves through our struggles and attempt to find the light in them. These are all questions we need to ask ourselves.

For example, I know that in my organic chemistry lecture the only “why” I am ever asking is “Why should I care about this?” or “Why does this have to be one of my required courses?” or “Why can’t I just pass this class and be over with it?”

These days, especially these past two weeks, have been hard. For everyone. Perhaps it’s because we are in the heat of seemingly EVERYTHING, from midterms to papers to lab reports,  that we lose sight of the end goal. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What about in 20 years? Are you doing the things you need to be doing in order to get there? What are you doing today to help you get there?

These are questions I have begun asking myself on the roughest of days. Now, I’ll walk you through my own experience:

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I see myself in a post-doctoral research fellowship position, working hard on projects in a scientific research lab.

What about in 20? In 20 years, I will have children. I see myself sitting at a desk, reviewing a scientific manuscript, and editing it for the journal that I work for.

What are you doing today to help you get there? Today, I went to the lab and I continued to work on my project. I read a few papers to keep up with the ever-evolving scientific literature.

I would like to think that I am doing the things that I need to be doing in order to get there.

Some days just seem so mundane, I know. We might ask, what’s the point of going on with our lives and goals? and it can be extremely hard to keep moving, but we must. It is harder to see the bigger picture some days and I think those are the days we need to ask ourselves “What is the impact of this?”

Because if we can see that bigger impact, then we can achieve our dreams.




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