The Echo Chamber: Learning to Give Up on People

By James Hicks
The Echo Assistant News Editor

It’s college. That means we are in between a few steps from the rest of our lives and a few steps from pubescent angst.

I have learned in my time at UCA that I can’t let the anxiety that threw me around in high school like a possessed rag get the best of me.

I can’t let my feelings for people get the best of me.

When I’m trying to do homework, my mind always wanders back to friends I’ve had and people I’ve liked. It gets so overwhelming sometimes that I can’t focus.

But my career is what is going to determine the rest of my life, not the people that left me. I try to meditate and fall in love with my work.

I want to be a famous poet, so whenever I’m rejected by society, I think about how beautiful accomplishing my goals would be and pursue that beauty.

There are two friends that I have that I call my friends, and I don’t have to worry about them leaving me. That’s enough because whenever I have added a lot more people into my life, they weighed me down with how fickle they were.

When I was younger, I thought that loving someone unconditionally meant that I should wait for them always and always be at their beck and call, so whether friends or romantic interests, I thought no matter what they did or did to me or made me feel, I should never let them go because that would make my love unconditional.

In the end, it just made me behind.

This world is a competition. You get a few people that are constant and the rest are rivals on a job application.

If you treat a rival like a friend, you’re not going to be able to compete. You’ll have a swell of emotions.

But the thing is: they don’t care or want to know what is going on inside of you. They only spend time, if any, on you because it fills in some time or inflates their ego.

In college, it’s one of the hardest things I ever have had to learn, but when people are casual friends, just numbers on Facebook or a night out, they are not worth your success.

If you want more from them and they aren’t giving you more, then the time spent with them is taking into study time or time you could be spending in an internship.

There are only a few people in this world that are worth more than your potential and those are the people that encourage it.

The rest let them go. We’re in between pubescent angst and the rest of our lives, and we can only move to the rest of our lives. The door on pubescence is closed and any angst is psychological baggage that we didn’t leave at that door because we didn’t prioritize.

It’s mostly a sad thing for me. Why should I give up on people that I care about platonically or romantically? Why should our story end that easily?

But, you know, life isn’t the story of people. It’s the story of you. No matter how many people are involved, your life is never actually part of someone else’s. I still like watching Classic Turner Movies and dreaming things were different and write of a better world in my poetry, but even if you gained affection or friendship from someone, you will never feel like their equal unless you first focused on your career. I’ve panicked from feelings of inadequacy with people with better grades than me or higher positions.

They did not care about me at all when daily routine was concerned and that crudeness is what kept them above me. They were ready to let anyone go in an instant.

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