This past week, I sat down with my advisor to schedule for the fall semester of my senior year.
Senior year already?
It feels like it was just yesterday that I was walking onto this campus for orientation, confused and scared about what the next four years would bring to my life. Now, three of those four years have passed and the time to start getting serious has come and gone. In roughly a year, I will graduate with my best friends on top of a hill that I now call home. And, to be honest, I am completely petrified.
My freshman year, college felt like it would last forever. That year was full of highs and lows, firsts and lasts - the good and the bad. And, in my mind, all four years would be like that first year: fun, exciting, and new every time. But that was not always the case. It got hard, and scary. I sometimes wonder if I wasted the time that I was so graciously given at my university by investing so much of my heart and mind into the things that I could not change.
Time flew in these last three years. Sometimes, I think to myself that maybe it was because I spent so much time feeling lost in what was going on around me, as if I could not tell how much time was passing by until I opened my eyes and looked back on the years that I had left behind. It just goes so fast and, before you know it, college is just a series of memories.
To you, incoming college freshman, my piece of advice would be this: do not just attend your University or college. Become a part of it.
Every moment – from the first time that you walk onto campus to when you stride across that stage to receive your diploma – is an opportunity to shape your future. The clubs you join, the classes you take, the people that you associate yourself with; all of this is so important and sometimes we get so caught up in all of the other aspects of being away at college that we forget what we’re really there for. That balance between what you want to do and what you have to do can be difficult to find, and it might take a while to grasp it. But it is possible. So yes, you can go out with your friends. Have fun. Skip a class if you have to and take naps often. But don’t forget to step outside of your circle of friends and make connections. Join a club or organization and get your name out there. Make a mark and give people a reason to remember you. College might only be four or five years of your life but trust me when I say that they are some of the most important. The memories and accomplishments that come about in that time are both magical and unforgettable.
So while I sit here writing this article, nervous about my future and my past, I finally begin to breathe as I think back on the last three years of my life. I’ve had a blast. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and joined what I could. I took college seriously and then I didn’t. But every move that I have made has been right for me, and that is what mattered the most.
Your college career is about you. Find who you are, find what you like, and do not be sorry for anything in between. College is a whirlwind. Enjoy it while it lasts.