As I reflect on the past three years spent here on the hilltop, I’m faced with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. I dwell on moments that made me feel a joy I’ve never experienced elsewhere. I reminisce on times that made me pause and question the world around me. I look back on opportunities that forced me to step out of my cozy shell. In some ways, it seems like a lifetime ago that my little freshman self was moving into her cozy Lyons dorm. In others, it seems like I blinked, and found myself beginning my senior year of college. I wanted to take a moment to offer some lessons I’ve gathered from my short – but oh so sweet – time here at Saint Mike’s…
Don’t wish anything away!
Savor every single second of your time here on campus – even the hard moments! This is something that took me quite some time to practice, but I’ve found it makes all the difference. Soak up all the wonderful moments as well as the challenging ones. Lean into the tough days even when you find yourself wanting to wish them away. If anything, it’ll make your lovely moments seem extra lovely!
Give yourself grace.
Being a college student – especially in the midst of a global pandemic – is no easy feat. Give yourself some credit for showing up and putting yourself in this position to begin with! Over the course of your four years, you may find yourself making a few mistakes. Give yourself grace for being open to this huge change.
Lean into discomfort!
You might find yourself incredibly uncomfortable by the new places and new faces around you as you settle into campus. Don’t shy away from discomfort! Try that club that seems interesting even if it’s something you’ve never done before. Register for that course you might know nothing about. Your college years are the perfect time to try new things with little risk involved.
Write everything down & take lots of pictures.
If there’s one thing I wish my freshman self would’ve done differently, it is to write down all the moments – big and small – that you experienced over your college years. It may be a special encounter, a moment that struck you, or just a day that you’ll want to remember down the road – trust me, you’ll have many of those!!
There are times I find myself wanting to hit rewind on the past three years. In some ways, to relive the beautiful moments over and over again. In others, to perhaps do a few things differently. I find peace in knowing that the things we experience in this special place truly never leave us, but rather are carried with us wherever we may end up.