By Tyler Kim
While tanning out in the Hawaiian sun, I suddenly think about how my first year went. There were some good moments, some bad moments, an accomplishment or two that I’m really proud of, and even something that I wish I could take back. Even though there were some aspects of freshman year that I wanted to do-over again, I had to acknowledge that I didn’t know what was going on, and that’s something you guys should realize as you experience freshman year. Just do the best you can and learn from your mistakes.
I know a few of y’all know me, but for the 99% that don’t, I’m Tyler Kim, and I just finished my freshman year (no regrets about passing up a gap year!). I represent the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) and grew into the person I am today there with my parents and older brother.
Like I said, coming into Duke, I had little to no idea what college was going to be like. My idea mainly stemmed from a combination of my dad’s stories of his time at Duke (’88 if you’re interested), some movies that take place in college, and some stories from college kids in a sailing trip I traveled in last summer. Boy was I in for a surprise because I barely got half of it right.
I held my own during O-Week, but classes didn’t start yet. As soon as classes started (i.e. the “real” reason we’re here), I saw that I wasn’t the only smart one here, but what really hit me was that a lot of these people seemed ten times smarter than me, and that’s when I started to have these doubts. I became unsure about a lot of things. These are just some of the questions I asked myself:
- Can I really earn people’s respect?
- Can I really pass this class, let alone the next test?
- Could I possibly exceed my dad’s legacy or even live up to it?
- How did the Admission’s Office even accept me?
- What the heck am I going to do after this?
- Do I really belong here?
Even now, I’m still looking for some of the answers, but that’s what college is for. In retrospect, that last question shouldn’t have bothered me and neither should it bother you. Why? Because everyone is here for a reason. I’m telling you to embark on this journey HEAD ON and let everything take its course because only then will you find the answers to your questions about the future. Along the way, you’ll need help in order to progress, and that’s where your friends, family, and mentors come in, but in the end, this is all about you.
And if you still don’t quite believe me, just look around you. We’re not the only ones trying to find our way; I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a campus-wide thing. When it all comes down to it, anything can and will happen to you, so embrace it. From the wise master Nasir “Nas” Jones, you should always remember, “The World is Yours.”
Class of 2019, welcome to the D! Go get ‘em! The world is yours.