College started out as a rough patch in my life. I didn't know how to study and my grades suffered. I had to grow up a bit and remember that I couldn't depend on my mom to remind me of things all the time, like paying my credit card bill. I had grown up so much by the end of my freshman year that I saw a completely different person than when I started.
I learned that college was there to help shape me for the better and it was amazing to see my growth from just one year. I decided, and I recommend all of you do the same, that sleep was more important than waking up early to do my hair and makeup and dress to the nines just to go to class and then the gym to sweat it off.
I learned that sometimes it is just better for you and everyone else if you just wear your Nike shorts and a huge t-shirt and run to class and that you don't need to be there before the professor.
If freshman me could see senior me, I think she would have a stroke. Senior me skips class just because she can, I am not condoning this, but hey, we all do it. Senior me stays up till midnight instead of being responsible and going to bed at 10 p.m.
I never loved going to school, it was always something I had to do and I still feel that way because we live in a world where we have to get a higher education to get a job.
I look at people when I am walking to class and can tell they are a freshman or whatever year they are (usually by judging the sorority shirt they are wearing and comparing it to my vast knowledge of the campus' shirts over the years).
I look at them and feel really bad for them because I know that they have so many more years ahead of them, so many more tests to study for, so many projects to complete. The list is never-ending.
Then I step back. I think of all the amazing memories that college has given me and it gives me more hope for them. They will have their chance to loophole themselves into their professor letting them take a group final because he said 'use any resources you have'.
They will have some wild stories about how that crazy, possessed squirrel behind the student union chased them halfway across campus or how they had to stop a tour because a skunk decided to block their path.
These students all around me have those unlimited chances to make new, lasting memories that will stick with them and they will be passed on to their children. They are going to miss those 2 a.m. fire alarms; it sounds crazy now but it was a bonding activity with your roommates and your floor (especially when you had to trek 8 floors back up).
As a senior now, I really can appreciate the times that I had on campus and there have been some moments where I wanted to be a permanent student because I love my campus that much. These are the memories that I will always remember; even some of the bad ones. I have had so many episodes of pure happiness, sadness, and so many other emotions on the spectrum and I can truly say that my college experience was a positive one.
I got a 'C' and I thought my life was over. I didn't have a car and I thought that was the biggest form of punishment. I failed a class and had to spend my summer retaking it and I thought my parents would kill me.
I thought that I lived such an uneventful life that I would not have any stories to tell my kids about college except that one time I decided to get a cat when we were all half-drunk at 10 p.m. and it worked out.
Being in college has defied everything I thought would happen and changed who I thought I would become. Looking back as a senior at all of the ups and downs that I have had, I can confidently say that it was worth it and I made it.