I began my college experience with the highest of hopes and an open mind because I was ready to start the rest of my life. I remember that first week of classes, I sat in the basement of my residence hall with my future roommate, anxiously filling in my planner that I searched the entire internet for. I marked down every assignment, project, and exam I was going to be faced with throughout the upcoming semester. I felt ready to take on college.
As the semester went by, I began to realize it was a lot more than just waking up early, staying up late, and writing everything in my planner.
I struggled academically and mentally with this big change in my life and quickly regretted enrolling in college in the first place. I started to blame myself for everything wrong and at one point felt absolutely miserable. I was filled with tons of regret because I was paying to learn I had no clue what direction I wanted to go in life.
In the end, I can blame myself for as long as I want for "wasting thousands of dollars" that didn't get me far in my education career. I can look back at my grades in utter disgust because they were not what I wanted them to be by any means. I can also look back at the five months I spent and think, "what a waste of time". All these thoughts could run through my mind, but they don't change the fact that I gained something so much better than thousands of dollars, or perfect grades, or even time.
I paid over $10K to be faced with most wholesome individuals to walk this earth.
I spent countless hours getting to learn and dive deep into the lives of world changers through various organizations that went on to provide me with friends that impacted the progress I have made since attending college. I got to hear how different people were doing in their classes, what life was like back home, and how we could both come together to make the world a better place.
Over time, these people went from classmates, floormates, and random people I met in the dining halls to family.
Despite having met these people only a short time ago, they have changed my life for the better.
These friends were here when I failed my first exam, when I slept through my first class, and when I cried for absolutely no reason. I was shown unconditional love and support that I will never be able to form into words.
Almost every student can agree that college is a busy time. My friends made time into their busy schedule to sit down and eat lunch with me so I wouldn't be eating alone. They took the time to help me study and complete my assignments. They gave up a perfectly good time to take a nap or scroll through social media to head over to have family dinner.
This new family started to give me new meanings in my life.
My hatred for Mondays became obsolete as soon as 4 PM rolled around. The numbers 557 and 501 are no longer just random numbers, they are homes I shared with my spontaneous, sprinkle loving roommate and the best gang known to man. Because of these relationships, I can no longer look at a mayo packet the same way again. And the Bearline isn't just one of the best things Missouri State has to offer, it means hundreds of late-night memories with my best friend.
This love I was shown will forever be planted inside me and for that, I am forever thankful. Thank you if you invested yourself in getting to know me, mentoring me, laughing with me, heck, even crying with me on the fifth floor of Wells.
Because of all these relationships, my $10K was worth it.
Whether you are just headed to college, or you are close to completing this great achievement, never miss the opportunity to meet someone new. You will truly have no idea the impact a single person can make on you until you invest yourself in getting to know them.
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