They say college is the best four years of your life, but I can’t help but disagree with this statement. I highly doubt eating cereal for dinner or pulling an all-nighter to finish a paper qualifies as the best time of my life. After all, these past four years have consisted of minimal sleep, poor eating habits and some bad life decisions. Instead of stating that college was the best years of my life, I would more accurately describe them as my most transformative years.
From the moment I waved good-bye to my parents in my freshman dorm room to closing the door of my empty senior year apartment, I cannot deny the fact that I have changed over these past four years. Change is inevitable especially when so much learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom when you are living on your own. College is a process of constant adjustment, starting from the moment you move in, you transform from dependent child to independent adult.
My college experience was not a straight path by any means but filled with many up and downs. I came into college, unsure about my career path or what I wanted from my college experience in general. After transferring from a small college in New York, where I felt completely isolated, I decided to come to UConn in hopes that I would find more opportunities. As a transfer student, I struggled at first to find my place on such a large campus with no idea of what I wanted to do with my life.
I quickly discovered the only way to succeed was to follow my own interests and intuition, rather than listen to other people’s opinions or judgments. This led me to get involved in organizations such as Her Campus and the Communication Society, which fueled my interest in mass media and helped me find my voice at UConn.
Transferring to UConn was probably the best decision I ever made because in doing so I opened myself up to more opportunities and got the chance to meet many amazing people. I learned what it means to be surrounded by an encouraging and enthusiastic community of people who build you up instead of tearing you down. I found that being around positive, confident, and supportive people make all the difference.
College has been so much more for me than going to frat parties or hanging with friends, but about growing as a person. Growing calls for some discomfort and awkwardness at first, but that is how change happens when we allow ourselves to make mistakes and mess up. Whether it was going to the wrong class, sleeping through my alarm, or tripping up the library stairs, I have made my own fair share mistakes and triumphs over these last four years.
When I originally pictured walking across the stage to collect my diploma at graduation, I imagined I would have the ideal job lined up and be ready to move out on my own. While this may not be the case, I know wherever I go next I am constantly progressing and that these past four have greatly prepared me for whatever comes next.