As the first day of the fall season is upon us, school has come back in full swing. First years are starting to feel settled in their dorms and might feel the first pangs of homesickness. Seniors have already started their countdown to graduation, and everyone is still in the early stages of getting all assignments done on time.
College is a place where people are told that they can finally feel free to find themselves and discover who they really are, but that's so hard to do if you're someone who doesn't fit into the mold of what a "typical" college student looks like.
I, myself, started my first semester two years after I graduated from high school. This put me at the ripe old age of 20 going into school. While that doesn't seem that odd, when you're two years older than the rest of the people in your orientation it's definitely something that's noticeable.
During the three years, I have been enrolled in school, it has been a surprising issue being older than those around me.
When I joined a sorority, I remember finding out that the reason some of the girls didn't choose me as a potential little is that they wanted someone younger than them that they could mentor. It was a disheartening feeling. I know I wasn't the only girl to fall into a situation like that either.
As most of my friends and family members around my age have begun to graduate, it's definitely a sad feeling. I feel strange knowing that they are finished with school and headed towards their careers while I still have a while to go.
It's especially strange when I tell people how old I am, and they look at me confused as to why I am still only halfway done with my college education.
When I graduated from high school, and all of my friends got their acceptance letters and packed their bags for universities across the country, I did feel left out. I knew, though, that starting that journey wasn't for me at the time.
I was handed a once in a lifetime experience to see another country, make lifelong friends, and grow to learn more about myself than I could cramming for a test all before trying to go to a college party.
I saw the world, and I don't regret it one bit.
I started school late, two years after all of my classmates from high school, and that is OK. While sometimes it may be a struggle, and sometimes people don't always understand, I don't regret it.
No, I do not feel behind, and no, I am not sad that everyone else is finished. I got to do what I wanted, which was to travel. Sometimes the hard decisions, the big scary ones, come with some downsides.
In the end, though, all that matters is me, and I am doing just fine.