The biggest thing I think I’ve taken away from college is that life doesn’t start and end there. When I first left home to attend Montclair State University I felt utter relief knowing I was no longer in the shadows of my overbearing, strict parents. I had a picture perfect idea of what my next four years were going to be like — the social aspect that is. I was going to become best friends with my roommates in the triple that we shared in our freshman dorm, make a billion friends, and still somehow manage to spend an unhealthy amount of time with my significant other.
As most things go, my college experience didn’t exactly pan out the way I expected it to. I wish I had spent more time focusing on academics and pursuing the career of my dreams, but I know now that everything happens for a reason. On my college journey, there are a few things I wish did and didn’t happen, and a multitude of things I am grateful for.
I wish I had a head start on my major and what direction I wanted to go in my career. If that was the case I would have amassed a good amount of writing/editorial internships since freshman year and probably even have a job lined up before graduation. I wish someone told me how important internships were.
I wish I’d joined more clubs. Not only are clubs a good way to meet friends and network, but they look great on your resume for future jobs as well as the resume you submit when applying to grad school.
I wish I had focused on my mental health more and taken advantage of counseling services at Montclair State University such as CAPS. My anxiety and depression often made me very unproductive even when I wanted to be, resulting in last-minute work, or not giving myself enough time to take in class material before a test. In spite of this, I am still managing to graduate with a 3.0 GPA, but I can’t help but sometimes dwell on the thought that if I had taken adequate care of my mental health I could be a student on the Dean’s List.
Lastly, I wish my anxiety hadn’t stopped me from adequately meeting new people and getting more acquainted with the members of my sorority, rather than spending time in my comfort zone with toxic relationships and friendships.
Amongst all these wishes, I don’t wish to repeat these four years. I believe everything happens for a reason, and if I hadn’t experienced what I did and encountered the people that I did, I would not be the exact person I am at this moment.
Along the ride — cliche enough — I have learned a lot about myself. I know my triggers, why I accept the things I accept and attract the kind of people I attract, as well as what my true passion in life is — that is — writing. Moreover, despite the heartache, I have met some great people that I know will be in my life for quite some time. Like I said, life doesn’t begin and end with college, but don’t forget to make the best of these four years.