Close your eyes, take a breath, and imagine this exact moment: the good, the bad, the light, the dark. In twenty years, what will this exact blip in time mean to you? Will you be proud of what you’ve accomplished? Will you shed tears of joy at the memories of your youth? Will you regret your choices, or will you thank your past self?
What does memory mean to you? What does this life, this one chance at living, mean to you right now?
As I ponder the questions above, my heart beats faster, my lungs expand with a wave of fresh air, and my thoughts swirl. The power of memory is irrevocably monumental — the ability to look back at moments from our lives is simultaneously an opportunity for growth and a chance to practice gratitude.
This semester, I’m grabbing memory by the reins and taking a chance to reflect on my years at BU. Through the thick weavings of time, I’ve had ups and downs, moments of soaring through the sky on waves of joy and instances of plummeting in fear. It’s no secret that college is a time of individual alteration — but what we don’t talk about is the importance of reflecting on our personalized recasting as we look forward to the next chapter of life.
When I first arrived at college, I was a timid, misunderstood girl from a city with a small-town feel. I didn’t know what it felt like to live life without fear of judgement from others, without the lingering eyes of people watching your every move. BU, a place where I don’t recognize the majority of faces I see while strolling through campus, popped the bubble of criticism that only small-town societies can instill. Suddenly, I was unequivocally free.
Mistakes, victories, laughter, and tears were all part of my journey here. From falling in love to learning to stand up for myself, in more ways than one, I’ve grown into a person who I can genuinely say that I’m proud to be. BU gave me more than the opportunity to be free: it gave me a chance to be someone else entirely, someone who doesn’t feel the need to fit into a small Texas town’s perfect mold. Gone are the days of hiding myself in fear. Instead, I’m reveling in my ability to be myself in every way possible and changing in whatever way I decide.
I’m looking back at the key memories that have given me the freedom I have today. From running to my friend’s classroom in high school to tell her I got into BU to having a panic attack in the middle of the Bay State dining hall after a disagreement with friends, every single moment from the start of my college journey has helped me become the person who I am today. And I’m damn well happy about it.