The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As the school year comes to an end and my peers are heading back home for the summer, one by one after final exams, it’s hard not to feel sentimental about my university experience coming to an end too. For the past four years, university and being a student were most of my life and I’ve gotten to do many things that I didn’t plan to do when I first accepted my offer.
University turned out to be much more than just a degree and diploma. Although sometimes I wish that the pandemic didn’t disrupt my university experience right when I thought I found my footing within the community, I wouldn’t ask for it any other way.
University was a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. It’s where I had many firsts, whether planned or not. It’s where I first learned how to be more independent and live without my parents guiding me every step of the way. It’s where I had my first heartbreak and realized that every relationship is a learning experience in more ways than one. It’s where I learned that sometimes there are things out of my control, but resilience and vulnerability in people can advocate for a better place for the ones that come after us. It’s where I learned how to get up again and deal with unexpected experiences and unfavourable situations. It’s where I fought with my mental health issues more times than I can remember and ended with just as many losses as wins.
University allowed me to become who I was all along but was too afraid to accept. It’s where I realized the importance of celebrating those who are inspiring and talented but also celebrating those who fall but carry on. It’s where I met my kindred spirits and built lifelong friendships with some of the best people I’ve met from the most unexpected situations. It’s where I learned to recognize that I’m also one of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and where I learned to love myself on my own terms.
University was where I stepped outside of my comfort zone and joined programs and clubs that I never thought I had an interest in. It’s where I joined Her Campus and felt inspired by every woman’s strength and compassion. It’s where I pushed myself past my limits and unexpectedly found my passions in more areas than I expected in and out of my field of study. It’s where I had the opportunity to explore my interests in my program and learn from my peers. It’s where my professors guided and challenged me to strive toward becoming a better student and person overall.
Leaving university is a sad realization, and I’m anxious about what’s next. Although I’m already feeling nostalgic about the past four years, I can’t help but feel incredibly lucky to have had an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
And to the younger students who may be reading this, don’t be afraid to say “yes.” Don’t shy away from the unknown and unexpected. Try things that you wouldn’t usually be interested in, and you might find a new passion and meet new lifelong friends. It takes time to figure out what you’re doing and what you love to do, and I know I’m just getting started too.