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Reflection: Being Halfway Done With College

The first thing that comes to mind is, where has the time gone? In some ways, I’m excited that I’m halfway done with all of this, but I’m also terrified that half of it is already over.

I definitely regret not having more fun and enjoying more of my time here. I know part of me was trying to rush through it and in focusing so much on my work and doing well academically, I didn’t put as much effort into the non-academic aspects of college.

Only now am I starting to see how much the value of college comes not only from the degree and the academics and the things you learn in a classroom, but also from the time spent outside the classroom, interacting with people, taking care of yourself, finding your passions and interests and growing as a person all around.

When you go on college tours, people always say that you’re not just looking for a place to get a degree, but you are looking for your home for the next 4 years. This is where your mental energy will primarily be, regardless of whether you live on or off campus.

I almost wish time slowed down and each semester was a little longer. There are things I wish I had time to do, but am learning I don’t. And, I’d like to think I would take my time and enjoy whatever I do more if I had that extra time, but I could just as likely procrastinate and take it for granted.

I say almost, because another part of me looks forward to the “real” world and adult life. The term “real” world isn’t quite apt to describe life after college because you will encounter some of the most real situations and people and experiences here. Since you have more control over your life after college, you might never face these situations again.

Adult life will be one where my time will be my time, and taking a break won’t mean I’m pushing off my homework. My personal life and work will be separate and when I come home, I won’t have obligations that I don’t choose for myself.

I also really look forward to my own income and apartment. Whether I share it with roommates, or am fortunate to live alone, I’ll have a place to cook and furnish as I please, a place I can shape around myself – that vision of the future is so enticing.

Reflecting on this halfway point of college is so bittersweet. I’m happy to have finished so much, but am sad for all the things I’ll be missing and the additional responsibilities I will have.

For those of you just entering college, do cherish it as much as you can. Don’t get hung up on the little things, because they’re not going to make you happy in the long run. For those of you finishing up college, or ending your junior year, I can’t even imagine how it feels to be in your shoes. No matter what, the memories of these four years are completely yours. You can hold onto them fondly or shove them to the back of your mind. But these four years are ones you’ll never get back, so make the most of them.

Anandita is a junior at TCNJ, majoring in economics and minoring in English
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