A few weeks ago, I sat down and had a conversation with a fellow Belle. She told me how frustrated she felt because she didn't love this place and as much as this broke my heart, I completely understood where she was coming from. Three years ago I was in her exact shoes and one thing that she said to me, I couldn't seem to get out of my head... "I almost feel like Saint Mary's lied to me." At first, I couldn't help but agree with her. It's no secret that Saint Mary's and I haven't always gotten along; we've certainly had our ups and downs throughout the years.
Suddenly, after I heard that comment, I started resenting the past three and a half years I had at this school because I too felt betrayed. Maybe Saint Mary's wasn't where I was supposed to be. Were all of the lost friendships, mistakes, and changed majors worth it?
When I was a senior in high school beginning the college search, Saint Mary's put off the perfect facade. Smiling faces and beautiful buildings with a prestigious university right next door. What wasn't to love? I set my expectations absurdly high the summer before coming to college. This is literally going to be the best four years of my life! Or so I thought...
When I got to school, it certainly was amazing, I won't deny that. A newfound freedom, new friends, and new places to explore. But then my grades started slipping, I lost some friends, gained some weight (curse you freshman 15...), and suddenly everything wasn't as perfect as it was supposed to be. My life wasn't great and I started to resent Saint Mary's. I wasn't supposed to feel like that here! Everything was supposed to be perfect! Did I make the wrong decision?
A few days after this conversation, I stumbled across a quote from Sister Madeleva. Every Belle is very familiar with the end, but I had never read the entire quote and it really resonated with me.
"We will not promise you happiness. We will not wish you security. For we remember that "security is mortal's chiefest enemy." And we know that you can be secure only when you can stand everything that can happen to you. If your school has prepared you for this, it has been a good school. We promise you discovery, the discovery of yourselves, the discovery of the universe, and your place in it."
Saint Mary's didn't lie to me, in
Maybe you had the best four years of your life here, maybe you didn't. Maybe you're a freshman just beginning this journey, a sophomore struggling through the slump, a junior anxious for the future, or a senior wishing it would all just slow down. Maybe you too have once wondered if you made the right decision in coming here. I hope you know that you did. This is exactly where you're supposed to be, no matter how you feel towards Saint Mary's right now. Trust me.
Whenever you look down at your right hand and catch a glimpse of your SMC ring or see that French cross glistening around your neck, I hope you appreciate the good and the bad. I hope you smile when you think of all of the laughs in your freshman dorm room, random walks down the Avenue, and I hope you remember that "once a Belle, always a Belle" will always ring true.