The Greatest Lesson I Learned In College

The Greatest Lesson I Learned In College

Sometimes the hard choices are the best ones to make.

Alright…so maybe my title is a bit bold since I still have about two months left of my last semester of undergrad. However, my four short years of undergrad have been quite unusual. Maybe my college experience is more common than I think. Either way, my winding road college journey has taught me a great lesson.

So if you don’t know me, I decided after 3 semesters of being an engineering student to change my major. Due to numerous difficulties, I ended up transferring universities after my sophomore year of college. So you probably are wondering what my big life lesson is that I keep mentioning. Well, it is this: Do what makes you happy and what is necessary to care for yourself.

Before changing majors, I dreaded returning to campus after Thanksgiving break. There was nothing wrong with my old university. I just hated the major I was in and realized it. The biggest issue was finding a new major. I honestly hated the idea of changing my path in life. As much as I wanted to change my major, I was scared. I wanted to graduate in four years as well as do something fulfilling with my life. I did so much research and prayed about it. I felt lost. I had always had a backup plan to become a bio major, but I dreaded the career options. Despite all these things, I decided on exercise science- pre physical therapy and Walsh was where I wanted to go to physical therapy school. The craziest part is I prematurely ended up there. And I have no regrets.

Looking back at the time before all of these changes, I was fearful, stressed, and not the person I always knew myself to be. I hated school, which was not normal. I couldn’t find the motivation to do my schoolwork. I did it, but it took 10 times longer to do so. The best decision I made was to change my major and although I didn’t immediately picture myself being a physical therapist, I do now. I am so grateful that I had supportive parents, one of which actually mentioned transferring universities when difficulties surrounding changing my major arose. I know that not everyone has that support, which is why I am so grateful.

What I learned was that if you aren’t happy in life, you can change it. Do what you need to do. Go where you feel called. Don’t let anyone stop you from being the best version of yourself (Matthew Kelly, anyone?). Change majors. Transfer schools. Find a new job. Nothing should stop you from loving life and enjoying what you are doing. You have a purpose! If you don’t have anyone’s support on the matter, you have mine! Do what you need to do so that you are happy mentally, spiritually, and physically. I cannot describe the relief, hope, and joy that flooded my soul when I made these decisions.

Every day I am reminded why my change of major and transferring schools was the right choice. The people I have met at both universities and the opportunities since transferring are some of the greatest blessings in my life. My path was far from straight, but it was one heck of a journey! It is one that I look back on with complete joy and gratitude.

God is great and wants you to thrive!

Cover Image Credit: Katherine Schaffner

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything

I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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