Graduating college is a big life change, probably the biggest personal one that some of us have faced in our young lives. We start our freshman year exploring a whole new place, trying to find the best place to eat on campus, and meeting some friends that you hope you will stick with over the years. Breakups, reconciliation, extracurriculars, and events are all explored throughout your college years. You have the opportunity to explore yourself and your interests without having anything really holding you back. You can go to all the concerts you want, traveling is more accessible, and you don’t have to worry about your parents being mad if you come home late. The opportunities you get to experience in adulthood are available now; it almost makes you want to stay in college longer. But alas, all good things must come to an end.
The college life is of course a bit messy for everyone. Relationships end, friendships are harder to maintain, and childhood pets pass away. There is not always a steady path for great experiences to occur, and life will get more difficult along the way. But experiencing it all is what makes your college life such a beautiful and eventful time. The hardships that seemingly defined your life here will eventually be viewed as a rough patch that you were able to get through. Your breakup can turn into something that allows you to learn more about yourself, and difficult friendships can help you to know your boundaries and what you desire in future friendships with others. Experiencing loss is something that is extremely hard to go through, even if it is a part of growing up. Let yourself grieve how you need to, and experience all the emotions that you feel. This will make you healthier later on. Everything you go through is a step that you are taking in the direction of where your life is meant to go.
Knowing that in a little less than a year your life is going to be entirely different is a terrifying place to be. You may have thought that you would have figured out what your future career would be by now, you may have guessed that you would have met your future spouse by the end of your college career, and now you may be single trying to process what your life looks like with just yourself. Or maybe you now have a set career and a steady relationship that has a hopeful future, which was never something you ever thought would happen. There are so many different paths that you can have after college, and all of them are an important factor in your story. There is no rule that says you need to have it all together the second you walk at graduation; your life does not need to be fully set and planned out by the time you finish college. You are not failing, and you are not behind; you are on the correct path for your own life and journey, and whatever that looks like is enough.
Before I graduate college, I hope I get to experience everything that is in store for me. I hope that I meet all the people I am supposed to and that I take in all those experiences with gratitude and happiness. I hope that the path that I am meant to take makes itself clear to me. I hope that I do not trip and fall while walking at graduation. I hope that by the end of the year I can look back with peace that I did everything I was meant to do, and that the journey I have ahead of me will be just as fulfilling as the past few years. I hope that I know that I am enough just by who I am, and that whatever career or relationship I have is an added luxury and not something that affects my value as a person.
Overall, the college experience was an unpredictable journey both for me and many others that I had the opportunity to know. I wasn’t anticipating becoming the Campus Correspondent for GCU’s Her Campus chapter, I didn’t think that I would become an RA, or that I would get involved with GCU’s spiritual life opportunities. I’ve gotten to experience numerous concerts, I explored Europe, and I got to have so many experiences that GCU has provided for me that I never would have thought possible as the 18-year-old girl who walked into my freshman year dorm scared of what could happen. College has been such an incredible yet messy journey, and I never even thought I would partake in everything that I did and am continuing to do. I don’t know where my journey will continue after this, but I know that I am thankful that my college experience has helped guide me to the opportunities that I will be given in the future.