Artwork by Lorelei Sellers (Instagram:@bbybeemail)
I like to compare college to a roller coaster. Freshmen year is when you get onto the ride, where you’re all excited for what’s coming, but also nervous. Fast-forward to senior year, where you reach the highest point before the final dive, balancing on the edge of your future.
When you start out as a freshmen in college, your entire life feels like it begins and ends with the next four years.You’re not as concerned with the future as you are with the present. Sophomore year is much of the same thing, but now you’re a “pro” at the college thing. Junior year brings more anxiety and worry, but it’s your buffer year before the realities of the world start to settle in. You can think about the future, but from a safe distance.
I’m just starting my senior year of college. The shininess has worn off and my buffer has disappeared. Gone are the days of just worrying about tests or friend problems. The world is calling now, and I don’t know if I want to pick up the phone.
Graduating from college in the not so distant future makes me appreciate the little moments so much more. The early morning chats with your roommate, the getting to eat whenever you want, the late nights out with your friends, the getting to take hour long naps (and nobody judging you for it). What I look forward to the least, though, are the goodbyes.
While graduating is scary, saying goodbye to this part of my life is even worse. You get used to college just in time to finish the ride.
On top of the pressure of having to say goodbye is having to finally grow up and give up on your Peter Pan fantasies. People say when you graduate from high school you have to start being an adult, but that’s not always necessarily true. Like I said before, college is a buffer. You get four, sometimes five, more years of acting like a kid. Once you graduate from college though, even if you’re going to grad school, you have to grow up. And unless you’re an anomaly, most of us don’t want to be pushed out into the big, bad world by ourselves.
Now I’m not saying I’m not excited for the future or what it holds, because I am! This past summer has gotten me ready to get out in the world, and it’s especially gotten me ready for graduate school. I’m ready for something new and fresh. While it’s been an amazing four years of my life, I definitely hope they’re not the best years of my life.
At the end of the day, I’m so grateful for what college has given to me. It’s helped me not only grow academically but personally as well. College is an experience, but as the saying goes, you get out what you put in. That hard work is what shapes and builds you into who you are meant to be. College is your chance to expand your horizons and reach your full potential. No matter what school you go to or what you major in, what’s most important is the path to self-discovery you’ll find along the way.