As I finish up my first fall semester at the University of Florida, I cannot help but reflect on my experiences thus far.
Since the moment I was born, I was brainwashed to bleed orange and blue. My mom was a Gator, so it had always been a dream of mine to follow in her footsteps. Every year, we watched every football game in the fall and every basketball game in the spring. I always pictured myself cheering in the swamp one day, rather than in front of the television screen; I had always been a Gator at heart.
After being accepted to UF, I was relieved to have attained my life-long goal, as I thought I always knew exactly how I wanted to spend the next chapter of my life. Prior to my acceptance, I had a mental blueprint of what my next four years would look like. I knew which dorm I wanted to live in, what I wanted my roommate to be like, the basis of my social life, how I would get involved, where I would find bedding and decorations, and the list just continues. I thought I knew everything I wanted for my future, and I was determined to stick to this plan. However, looking back, that was a huge mistake. And, unfortunately, I learned the hard way.
If there is one thing I have learned thus far in college it is that life does will not always go as planned, and that is okay. Having a set plan in mind only sets us up for failure and disappointment. I am not saying that having life goals and aspirations is a bad thing, rather completely planning and outlining our future experiences can only be detrimental. It is impossible to know what obstacles are going to be thrown at us, and it is impossible to know what experiences and opportunities will come our way in the future. However, it is okay for there to be ambiguities in our lives.
As a senior in high school, you may find yourself stalking college students’ social media accounts to vicariously live through their new experiences. You will see their huge smiles, fun nights out, and huge friend groups plastered on every social media platform. Naturally, we assume every college student is happy, and they live flawless lives. No one will tell you there will be obstacles, and at times there are many obstacles to overcome. No one tells you it is okay to experience disappointment because every new stage of life will have its own successes and failures.
By no means have I disliked my freshman fall semester. I have faced disappointments, and I was forced to overcome obstacles. Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I disregarded my once amazing plan, and I started to think about new aspects that could contribute to my college experience.
In my seven semesters, I know I will definitely stray away from the blueprint I blindly made myself prior to my journey at UF. In 2021, when I graduate from college, I know I will have no regrets.