Thoughts From A Second Semester Senior

They say that college is the best time of your life. Honestly, they're not wrong. My college experience has been entirely unique, worth every second, and as of now - it has been the highlight of my life. They also weren't kidding when they say these four years fly by right before your eyes. My Facebook memories stun me every day with pictures of my friends and I looking like mere children as we were getting dressed to the nines for our big night out at Mugz, fueled by Strawberitas and Mike's Harder if we were feeling especially risky. I would give anything to relive it all again. But that's what its all about, right? Time flies when you're having fun.

These three and a half years have carefully molded me into the person that I have grown into today. Every single person that I have met, befriended, loved, learned from, lost, and grown with, has made me a better person and given me a better grasp on who I am. This new, grown up and now almost fully college educated person has learned how to have the most fun she can and live life to the absolute fullest. Living in such an awe-inspiring city and checking off box after box on my list of dreams that I want to come true, its clear that this time in my life has set me up for an everlasting list of boxes waiting to be checked off; a list of dreams so exciting that it almost makes leaving this place a tiny bit easier.

While there was an over abundance of wonderful and beautiful memories (that quite frankly defined the word fun), there was more to my college experience than that. These four years are tough - academically, emotionally, socially. There are a host of obstacles college students have to face and they also play a key role in shaping you. Friends leave, romances end, final papers destroy you (and possibly your GPA), you don't get the internship you want...the list goes on. But those experiences seriously make us stronger. I think moments that bring us to tears, that cause anxiety, and sometimes even bring out the worst in us are the primary source of what makes us grow up. Some people could argue that #adulting and doing things like grocery shopping, doing endless laundry and cleaning up your big girl apartment are the key components of turning into an adult. I think its the moments that force you to jump a hurdle is what does it and I have jumped several in my time at college. 

So now, here I am, a second semester senior. While I can't add metaphorical hurdle jumper to any form of resume, I am able to confidently present the very best version of myself. I have made a strong, beautiful family of friends that have shown me what it feels like to be truly loved and accepted. I have learned to finally take risks and embrace an adventurous lifestyle because I refuse to have regrets about something I was too scared to jump into. I have unchained my feelings of things I am truly passionate about because I will not hide behind insecurities or others' opinions. I have learned to truly love myself and the life I live because I am just so wonderfully lucky.  Every day has sincerely been a gift. 

As much as I resent how quickly my college experience flew by, I can say with full confidence that I did not waste a day. I took advantage of how happy this school and every memory along the way has made me. When I'm a very old alum someday in my rocking chair, I will look back on my college days with the utmost fondness. This experience made me grow, learn, and succeed - but most of all, it has made me so unbelievably happy. Every day, there has been an endless supply of reasons to smile. There has always been something to learn. There has always been something to be wholeheartedly grateful for. 

Yes, its true, my days here are numbered. And yes, I certainly think of administrators having to drag me, kicking and screaming, off of the stage at graduation because I never want to leave. But, I thank the universe every day for giving me something I am so devastated to part ways with. I intend on making the most of every second I have left as an undergraduate student. If three and a half years passed by so quickly, imagine how quickly just a few months will fly by? 

For those of you who still have several months or years left as a student, embrace a life of adventure and confidence. Have as much fun as you possibly can and don't sweat the small stuff. Life is short, but your time at school is even shorter. I will add myself to the list of people who tell you to enjoy every moment and hang on tight because time flies. I will also assure you (because I know firsthand), you will emerge on your graduation day as a changed person; someone with an incredible future ahead with dreams and aspirations that will lead you to pure happiness and success. While it is so terrifying and absolutely comparable to a baby bird leaving the nest (again), you have accomplished something so extraordinary.

Walking across the stage to receive my diploma will symbolize a very significant end point - college will be over. But in reality, life is just beginning.