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A pebble at a time moves mountains and so can you

October 1, 2021

This piece represents the opinion of the author.
Kyra Tan

Hey, you! I hope the past week has been going well and that you’re feeling more settled into the campus rhythm. Let’s get straight into the cosmic advice.

For the current situation, I drew the Six of Cups. This speaks to old relationships (no, not necessarily exes, but the long-standing kind, maybe even the past life kind). This can include relationships with friends, family or even your past-self. This is also a card of memories. For those of you who have been on campus before ‘rona hit, perhaps being here again has awakened some old memories, old feelings. For all of you, a lot has changed over the course of this past year—yourselves included. How have you changed? How have you grown? What mistakes have you made? And how have you learned from them (or not)? This is a card of remembering, of connection and of rediscovery.

During one of the first days back on campus, I was walking with a friend and made a sharp detour to look into one of the windows to the basement in Hubbard, at the very bottom of the stacks. They asked, “What are you looking at?” I replied, “A memory.” I’ve made tiny pilgrimages to unfamiliar places like this. Although the nostalgia they awaken is sweet, bitter and teary at the edges, they also remind me that I’m here, that I’ve been here. They connect me to this campus.

For the main challenge, I drew the Five of Coins. This is a rough card; it speaks of loss and of lack. What are you missing? What are you wanting? What would make you feel happier, more secure, more fulfilled? These are all existential, crisis-inducing questions (sorry about that), but if you don’t ask what’s missing, how else would you ever find it? Maybe campus life isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Maybe you’re bitterly comparing the Offer of the College with what Bowdoin offers us. Maybe you’re really questioning whether these four years will be the best of your life. Well, even if they are, what does that mean for the many years that will follow? Though this is a downtime, it’s also a period for quieter reflection—for taking stock, for replenishing your energies and drawing up new plans. Nature knows these rhythms better than any of us: all fields, no matter how fruitful, must lie fallow from time to time.

What can you do about this? The Three of Coins is saying to take it one step at a time and work closely with others. By doing so, you can move mountains. This card is all about collaboration—it’s about the exchange of ideas and the pooling of effort. Practically speaking, if you’re feeling at a loss, know that you’re not doing it alone. Partner up with those around you to start filling your life with what you want. Maybe you have an idea for a new club or an event to host—start it! Maybe you want to exercise more, write more, read more, laugh more—get to it! But don’t expect results to come overnight. Sometimes, the largest changes occur in the smallest increments.

All together, now is a time where many of us are feeling challenged, ungrounded and overwhelmed. It feels like ever since Add/Drop ended, work ramped up 1,000 percent (Profs really said “haha, gotcha now!”). Some of us are already knee-deep (or neck-deep, depending) in midterms season. We find “our” time is being spent less and less on ourselves, and instead being devoted to homework, office hours, programming, clubs, sports events and jobs, not to mention some semblance of a social life or sleep (literally in your dreams). Really—take it one day at a time, one hour, one minute. Some days you’ll feel like you’re riding the wave; other days, the wave is riding you. Sometimes all you’ll feel like you can do is tread water. It’s uncomfortable, it’s unsatisfying, it’s frustrating—but that’s life sometimes. Focus on the very next thing. You won’t have it all figured out, and you don’t need to. Just one more chapter, one more nap, one more moment. Don’t forget yourself in all this, either. You deserve your time.

All that came straight from the heart. I’ve been dealing with these feelings and situations recently, but I take comfort in two facts. First, I am not alone in what I’m experiencing. Second, everything will be okay. I hope you find comfort in them, too.

Peace and love,

Nora

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