Can I just start off by saying, yes, college IS the best four years of a person's life. You get the real world experience of living on your own while juggling classes, assignments, and leadership positions day after day all while maintaining a somewhat stable social life. And yes, by social life, I mean the small circle of friends you have that you desperately can't live without.
College is a time in a person's life where you go through obstacles that are going to shape you into a new, fresh version of yourself. Who you were before going away to school, is most likely not who you are going to be as you toss that tassel to the side of your cap, and begin your goodbyes. If I didn't have the opportunity to attend a school out of state (and especially step out of my comfort zone) I never would have had the experiences that led me to the person I am today.
And I am so damn proud of myself for that.
I learned that good things take time. And yes, you probably have seen little Pinterest quotes of this somewhere online and saved it as your wallpaper (I am high key talking about myself), but it really is true. Good things don't just come into your lap, you work for them. I have faced countless struggles looking for new ways to improve myself, whether its applying for leadership positions, internships, or even simply doing well on a test to reassure me that what I am doing is enough. Good things take time- sometimes it feels like the world can be against you when all else seems to fail, but with hard work, they eventually come when you least expect it to. I learned in college that nothing will ALWAYS go my way, and that is okay. I know that what is meant to be for me will be for me, and my time to shine will always come in different ways.
I learned that the people in your life who don't make you feel the need to pretend to be someone else, are the ones who are your true friends. That the people who continuously check on you when they know you are struggling, go to the local bar on a boring Tuesday night to sit and vent, or even simply sit across the table from you at the library, are the friends you can always count on. I've had mean friends growing up, people who treated me with disrespect and never gave a damn whether I was happy, sad, excited, or miserable. I came to college and thankfully met my bridesmaids, the true loves of my life, and I can confidently say I would not have had the college experience if it were not for them.
I learned that old high school friends who abandoned you don't matter, and when you see them years later at a bar, they still don't. I learned that giving yourself an extra half hour in the morning can truly make a difference to your day, and of course and extra cup of coffee, too. I know now how important it is to have a strong support system, to count my blessings, to say "I love you" before leaving, and giving yourself enough credit where it is due. I know now that I am enough, even when I continuously feel like I'm not, I know I am enough. My best is good enough.
I know that college is hard, and I know that sometimes we can get down when things don't seem like they are moving in the right direction we planned them to. But thats just life, there is no plan. You go through different experiences each day to lead you to this moment, right here. Even you reading this article right now, what led you here? What you go through is what you grow through, and that counts for the good and the bad. Each experience you have shapes you into the person you are today, whether you know it or not, and my time at college has truly shaped me into a person today that I am incredibly proud of. I am thankful to have had the experience that I did, and am happy the tough times, and the best times, led me here.
Count your blessings and your experiences, friend.