Looking Onward to a New Year

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Andrew Melese
Staff Writer

As I enter my fourth year at UCSB, I’ve realized that in order to make the best of my time at university, it’s imperative that I develop the most diverse set of knowledge that I possibly can. As well as forging meaningful, deep, and sincere relationships, these are the two most important goals that I have going forward in the upcoming academic year.

This point of view finds me from experience: learning as much as possible about the world and its inhabitants always makes me feel good. I have always found that in attempting to better understand the world, it becomes less intimidating and more sympathetic. When it comes to my studies, I have always been fascinated by my courses and filled with the desire to know what motivated each of my professors to become experts in their field.

For all the reasons above, although I am a history major, I study macroeconomics, personal investment, international relations, pop culture, environmental science, and evolutionary biology in my free time. My studies never leave me intellectually unsatisfied. If by the end of the year I can understand ideas like the effects that evolution has had on societies since the industrial revolution, or how society and markets have evolved during the same period of time, I will be satisfied come June.

Socially, finding meaningful relationships with people of good character, both romantic and platonic, seems to offer the most happiness I’ve known. And seeking meaningful relationships — those with a deep, sincere, and intellectual or emotional connection — has always left me more happy than seeking transactional relationships. In this case, “transactional” meaning a relationship that one has simply for personal gain.

With the new year, I am looking forward to learning meaningful things and making meaningful relationships. And so I’ll look for ways to make purposeful work and sincere relationships a reality. Whether it be through playing intramural sports, chatting people up at cafes, reading voraciously in the library, or attending the Adventure or Snow Clubs’ activities, I will aim to find avenues to meaningful experiences. If I don’t do this, I’ll regret not doing so for years to come.

Different people need different things, and the same people’s needs can change with time. All I can say is that I’m heading for the mountains or the beach with friendly people whenever I can find an excuse to venture off. I’ll engage in every philosophical discussion I can. Hopefully, I can learn what motivated my professors and gave them passion for their careers. In free and empty moments, I’ll be tied up with a book on evolution or investment strategies whenever history-related readings are done.

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