I can remember a not-so-old adage people say about college and hearing it all my life: college is the best four years of your life. I want to start by saying that college has been truly the best years of my life, this far. However, this phrase is misleading and reveals something disheartening about the post-undergraduate life, simply put: this proclaims that after college people stop doing what they love or they settle and didn’t use their four college years the right way.

For example, I began 2016 by being a professor’s assistant in her first year seminar, Lost and Found Translation. This opportunity provided me with the experience to be not just a peer in a classroom but a role model for students. Furthermore, it allowed me to study translation and focus my major within the realm of translation and interpretation. After this life-changing experience of working for my professor, we were then rewarded a grant to translation a novel of 25 Spanish short stories by Mexican author Xánath Caraza during the summer of 2016. This experience was absolutely life-changing and confirmed my love for Spanish and made my future a lot clearer. Collaborating with a professor is an amazing opportunity and it has definitely given me a new level of professionalism and set of skills. Then, this fall semester of 2016 I am currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain taking classes in Spanish and living with a Spanish host family. Needless to say, this year has absolutely changed my life!! I’m often speechless thinking about all these incredible opportunities my undergrad has provided me with.

This is where I think about what I’ll be doing after I come home from studying abroad. My translation project will be done, I won’t be tutoring for a FYS, nor will I be in Spain any longer. Yes, I could look at this year and say “Oh, college is the best four years of my life but now when I graduate it all comes to an end.” I sure hope not! I can’t wait to continue this beautiful journey of studying Spanish and becoming fluent, translating prose and poetry from Spanish to English and maybe English to Spanish one day, and hopefully I’ll be traveling to Spain every year! As amazing as this year has been, it doesn’t mean that I have nothing else to look forward to in the future.

I write this to remind readers that college is the foundation for the best that is yet to come. Don’t let college dominate your life and be “the best years of your life”, let college be the beginning of a fantastic career, an unbelievable lifetime. So many people look at life after college and think the fun has to end, that the idea of putting one’s self first comes to a sudden halt, and the best of life is behind us and already lived: that couldn’t be more wrong! College should prepare you for a marvelous career and I know my undergrad is doing just that.