Going to college was something I always knew I was going to do. From the time I was five, I had college shirts from universities all across the country, I took AP and duel enrollment classes in high school and volunteered with in my community. I dreamed of being on my own and interning with sophisticated companies.
Then I got to college, and it was everything and nothing like what I expected.
I never expected to miss my small town so much freshmen year and travel home every weekend.
I never expected to join a sorority and find a group of women who empowered and supported each other.
And I never expected that my last semester was going to be so bittersweet.
My catch phrase through college was "Am I graduating yet?" and now that I am, I wonder how it got here so fast. Just yesterday I was this poofy-haired girl who had trouble getting her nose out of a book. And now, well, I still have the poofy hair and the book obsession, but I also learned how to put myself out there. I learned how to fail and pick myself back up.
Yes, my years of college have taught me how to behave in the professional world and prepare me for my future career. But what I never imagined when I applied to college was the independent, self-assured person that I have become. I can manage my finances, go grocery shopping and make appointments (though my mom is so much better at all these things than me) all by myself. I learned how to become accountable and that taking the easy way out doesn't work in the real world.
And I learned that being an adult isn't all it's cracked up to be.
That's right, I am a 21-year-old woman who goes to Disney World weekly, envies Cinderella (not because of the Prince, but I'd be totally okay with my own castle), and believes in magical things like true love and affordable healthcare,
And guess what? I'm happy with who I am. Not saying that college gave me a self esteem boost because, let's be real, most of the time college was a big old bully. I'm sorry you didn't want to be in the library at 4 am running on two hours of sleep? Or so stressed out that when you don't have something due you are paranoid that you're missing something? Oh and my personal favorite so overwhelmed that when someone asks you how you are doing you just... like cry?
Yeah.. college is a roller coaster ride to say the least but it's weird to say that i'm happy that I was pushed so hard and learned what I am capable of. If college taught me anything it was that I am far from perfect but I like who I am.
I am a procrastinator and a perfectionist (yeah, it's hard sometimes.)
I am strong and capable.
And I am my own person.
As for my last semester, I have been so busy with internships, classes and just life that it took me awhile to see that all of this is almost over. I haven't appreciated all the things I have done. And I am proud to say, I have no regrets.
I learned that class is important but so are life experiences, so don't forget to turn in that ten page essay but to also go out to that party or see that movie with the cute guy from your English class. That it's okay to lean on your friends when you need them and it's also okay that some people aren't in your life now that you thought would be. It's okay to miss your mom, it doesn't mean you aren't independent it just means she is the only one who is always in your corner. And it's okay that everything I thought I wanted when I first started college isn't what I want now.
The last semester of college has had some of the best days and worst days of my career. But if there is any advise I can give you for when your time comes, it is to slow down. I know that you have a million things due and you are trying not to hyperventilate but make sure to make time for people that make your soul happy, catch a football game, go to a lecture of some brilliant person and take a second to look around and say "I made it and I should be proud."