As reading day approaches next week, it has come to my realization that I am for the most part done with my freshman year of college. What has felt like a perfect combination of a million years and one month all somehow managing to fit into two semesters is now coming to a close. Naturally, this had me thinking: If I was given a chance to ‘select all’ and ‘delete’ this first year, would I take it? Would I want a chance to change everything? Was this year really as special as how everyone describes it to be?
I can’t be the only one who has thought about this. Maybe you’re a freshman like me and our thoughts are totally aligned at the moment. Maybe you’re a senior who instead is thinking about the entirety of their years in college. Either way, this type of self-reflection has been happening ever since the weather has reached 60 degrees and the professors all over campus have been passing out final exam review sheets.
In many ways, there are a lot of great parts that has made this school year one to remember. Meeting new friends, going on new adventures, trying new things, you name it. Maybe you got the chance to meet some really incredible and inspiring people. For me, being on my own for the first time has prompted all of these things to happen.
I am proud to say that I have had the privilege to meet some incredible individuals, whether they were my professors or my sorority sisters.
One of the many great things about college is having the exposure to many different individuals. You are able to learn from them, get inspired by them, and if you’re lucky, form some incredible friendships.
What often comes along with the exposure to many different individuals is the inevitability of meeting some less than incredible individuals. This can often come as reality check for many first-year students that have had a fairly sheltered life up until now. This is the harsh reality of moving on in the world: you are going to meet people that suck. You will get wrapped up in toxic relationships, experience heartbreak, and realize that you can’t make everyone happy. These moments are always going to come as a packaged deal with growth and development. As much as we wish we could cut out those parts of our lives, that just isn’t the reality. Although these times are hard and have questioned our identity all together, they don’t last forever.
Personally, I like to find the silver linings to every situation, whether they are good or bad, and I have found that some of the toughest situations I have been put in during these two semesters have impacted me for the better. Sure, these moments were unbearable at their worst but, learning how to navigate around them and to cope with them in a healthy way has impacted me far more than the moments themselves did.
When times get difficult, we as individuals tend to learn a lot about identity and what we stand for.
For me, I learned a lot about who I am as a person and that I’m a lot tougher than I thought I was.
Finally, one of the biggest parts of this year is coming to terms with change. It is just purely inevitable that you are not going to be the same person you were when you started this year. That just happens. As you learn to navigate around all the high and low parts that the two semesters have thrown at you, the person that you are is going to alter a little bit. Not like a full-on identity change but, your preferences and interests are going to change. This often comes hand in hand with maturity and change. Not a lot of people like to embrace change, myself included, but ultimately it is actually a really good thing. Imagine if you stayed your high school self throughout your freshman year of college? You wouldn’t grow and odds are you wouldn’t have formed the relationships that you have now.
In many ways, this year has been all kinds of exhausting for all of us. Navigating the pure newness of academics, relationships, physical, and mental well beings is not an easy feat. Especially if this is the first time living on your own. Although it can be very difficult at times, there is a lot of good that has come out of this year. I know it and you know it. So, after you are done reading this I hope you take a look at the question I asked you at the very beginning of this, it’s in the title in fact. Do you still want a do over? I bet the answer might surprise you.