“It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday. And then quietly, and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”
And just like that, my undergraduate career is over.
Four years ago, everyone told me college would be the fastest, and the best, four years of my life. As an eighteen-year-old freshman, you believe them, but you can’t fully understand how right they are until those four years are gone. Each year passes by faster than the last, leaving you confused and panicked as to where all of that time went and how you can possibly get it back.
As I said in my last post, graduation marks an ending to an era. But it also signifies a beginning. You have a blank slate to shape your life in any way that you choose. Choose wisely.
Reflecting on my college career, I find myself wishing I had made better use of my time. I wish I had properly explored the beautiful state I was fortunate enough to live in. I wish I had spent more time with the friends I am thankful to have made. I wish I had worked to be more involved in my community. But rather than feeling regret, I am using that feeling as inspiration. I refuse to waste any more time. While my college days may be coming to an end, I still have the rest of my life ahead of me. I have a blank slate to create anything and everything I want, making sure that includes all of the things I wish I had done sooner. And that’s thrilling.
Those four years I spent at university were life-changing, in more ways than one. They shaped me as an academic, but also as an individual. The people I was surrounded by made me question my beliefs and my values, in good ways and bad. Some of my beliefs may have shifted, but others strengthened. The worldly exposure I gained truly helped begin molding into the person I am going to become. Use what you’ve learned throughout your academic career to make a difference in the world, standing up for the values you believe in. The one piece of advice I have for incoming freshmen is to take courses that matter. Take courses that will change your outlook on life, courses that will teach you to stand up and speak up, and courses that will inspire you to do good (thank you, women and gender studies, for doing that for me).
I want to say a special thank you to my parents. Without their unfailing and dedicated support, I would not be where I am today. I want to thank them for giving me the strength to pursue my dreams and face all of the challenges that have been thrown my way. For the phone calls with my dad I looked forward to every Saturday. For my mom’s cooking advice when I wasn’t sure whether or not I should eat what was my fridge. For giving me the tools I need to tackle this crazy thing called life. And for so much more. I will never be able to sufficiently thank you enough for everything you have done for me. I love you both more than I can put together words for (and I’m a writer, so trust me when I say I love you both a lot).