In a little more than a month, 48 days to be exact, I will, along with many others, walk across a stage, get my diploma, graduate, and officially become part of the real world. They say you learn a lot from your college experience about life, but in my opinion the most important is the last semester. It’s the reflection semester where you think about how far you’ve grown, what is next for you after graduation, and what you will have to do to actually graduate. It’s the semester of being thankful, overthinking everything, and making major decisions that will effect the beginning of life on your own.

Planning your next step in life pretty much takes over the last semester of college. Going on job interviews, thinking about where you will live, and overall what will happen after you graduate. You learn fast that practice makes perfect with interviewing and that your first interview may not be your last. You learn that you may not get your dream job but there will be something else waiting for you. You learn that life moves fast and you get less and less time to figure out what is next. At times, the last semester can be very overwhelming but remember that it will all work out for the best. And you learn that you really only have so much control on what happens next, because nothing happens perfectly.

For me, this last semester has made me reflect on how far I’ve come. I moved away 240 miles to go to a new school where I did not know anyone or anything pretty much. I left a comfort zone and started in a new place with a heartbreak of being away from home. But I now know that if I didn’t go through the months of endless tears, the constant doubt if I was doing the right thing, or beat myself up about leaving my loved ones at home, I wouldn’t have figured out my potential as an individual that will be apart of the real world. I learned that life is not a walk in the park and you will have to go through obstacles alone at times. I’ve also learned that it is important to have a support system when you cannot handle the stress of it all by yourself.

Something that I’ve learned a lot this semester was that I am grateful for my life and how far it has come. I am thankful for the opportunities to meet new people, traveling, and most importantly my friends and family back home. I am thankful for my parents who I am grown even closer with while being separated. I am thankful for my friends still being there a couple hundred of miles away. I am also grateful for the pounds of coffee I have consumed, the learning opportunities thrown my way, microwavable meals when I didn’t feel like cooking, relatable memes on the internet that take my mind off of stress, and overall thankful for my time at my home away from home.

The last semester of college is the last time you can basically get your shit together before you are held accountable for someone else besides yourself. It’s the time where we can reflect on how far we’ve come and overthink every little decision we need to make from here on out. It is the beginning of our search for the next step and eventually stepping stone to that next step. The end of college feels the most relistic during this last semester because you could actually see the end. This is what we went through leaving home, leaving our comfort zones, the emotional breakdowns, and the endless nights of studying for. We can see the end of school more clearly and look forward to the day we walk across the stage and step into the real world.