Uncovering uncertainty


Uncovering uncertainty

People often remark on how small the world is. They don’t really mean to downplay the massiveness of our planet, unless of course they are card-carrying members of the Flat Earth Society, in which case they’re probably being a bit tongue-in-cheek. What most people mean, though, is that we’re all much closer to one another than we think. Sure we are, but the world isn’t small at all, and we take for granted just how much there is out there. That isn’t usually the most comforting thing. The world we are entering is filled with uncertainties and hesitation. So how do we go about navigating this complicated mess?

 The Chronicle is the only place I’m aware of where you can gain access to such an amazing reservoir of talent, and from such extensive fields. It seems to me that Columbia students and faculty tend to stick to their own departments, resulting in a compartmentalization of talent. I’ve seen admirable efforts to counteract this, but The Chronicle remains the prime example of a truly collaborative student network with all sorts of different majors: film, illustration, advertising, photography and journalism, to name a few. Everyone I’ve met has had invaluable wisdom to share with me. Dipping your toe into other people’s skillsets is a great way to become more well-rounded, but it’s also the perfect way to humble yourself into admitting exactly how much you don’t know. 

 By discovering where your uncertainties lie, you learn new ways to grow. I tend to have a hard time devoting myself to just one subject for too long. I came to Columbia as a film major, eventually minoring in music business. By the time I began my second year, a strange impulse to work for a living landed me at The Chronicle. I developed a skill for film criticism there, but it wasn’t long before my increasing interests toward the odd subjects of geography, vexillology—the study of flags—finance and economics started to bleed into my contributions to the newspaper. With each new focus, I’ve learned to branch out in a way that I wouldn’t have done otherwise, broadening my horizons while coming to grips with where my limitations are and how I can surpass them. I couldn’t have stepped out of my comfort zone and accomplished that without my awe-inspiring coworkers at The Chronicle, our mercilessly kind General Manager Chris Richert, or the unrelenting support from my friends and family.

 I don’t doubt that I’ve willingly held myself back in the past for fear of uncertainty. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have allowed that hesitation to get in the way of moving forward with my aspirations. Those of us graduating are about to embark upon a huge undertaking. Most of us have a good idea of what we’re out to achieve, and we may have even secured our first step to getting there—but uncertainty is still there. Don’t let it be an obstacle; instead, let it be a motivating force for development and growth.