It is said that all great things must come to an end, and as my freshman year at Tulane comes to a close I can concur that this saying holds truth to it. I have never felt happier in my life for so long than I have this year. Every friend I have made is of the uttermost quality and they are the people who I want to give speeches at my wedding and funeral and for our children to be best friends and for our paths to never stray. This city is magical, and my liver hates it, but my stomach and heart are in passionate love. Going to college here comes with so many perks, one being an outside the classroom education on life, and that is one thing I am the most grateful for as I reminisce on my year.
I come from northeast suburbia where high school is a pressure cooker, the air is thick with competition and you are surrounded by high strung parents, and life is just accepted that way. College and specifically New Orleans have taught me that that is no way to live. Sure, stress is good before a test or something, but why live your whole life planning out every minute for years ahead of you or having a week long mental break down when you get a bad grade. I have learned so much about life and what a waste of time it is to worry so much. You need to live life day to day and just “let it be”. There is nothing you can do about all the inevitable shit that comes with being a human so just let it happen and stop trying to fight the world off. My schedule can be jam packed and my calendar can be a bottomless pit of tests and due dates, but it doesn’t matter. Every student struggles and everyone survives. Instead of letting all this take over every nerve of your body, you need to enjoy life while you work hard. Work hard play hard is the motto to describe the way of life here, and as cliché as it sounds, its real. You can go out to brunch uptown and treat yourself, then work your ass off during the day, then enjoy the boot at night. Life is about balance, not depriving yourself of happiness or just that deep breath you deserve. Even though 24 hours in a day seems like a minute in college, it will all work out. It always does in the end.
The thing that was such a hard hello is going to be the hardest goodbye. You come into college with some basic expectations of making friends and partying hard and living what you are repeatedly told will be “ the best four yeas of your life”. Thats such surface bullshit though and it goes so much deeper than that. These friends you make become your family, the nights you “party hard” will be memories (or lack there of) that last a lifetime. I have not stopped smiling since I have arrived. Even staying in and studying, or sleeping the day away I consider a great day here. Sure you should pay attention in class every once in a while to learn something, but the real lessons are learned in every day life on how to be a good friend, a positive, independent person, and how to walk through the world with no regrets. I have learned to live in the present and not take any moment for granted, and these are the valuable lessons that make the jaw dropping tuition worth it.