During my last semester of college I have been reflecting more on the last four years and what it has taught me about change. When I graduated high school, I did not want to leave. I had so many amazing friends, an incredible boyfriend, bonds with teachers and people in my community; I was just not ready to give it all up. I was happy, and I finally felt settled into life. The last thing I wanted to do was start all the way over. However, all I kept getting told was, "College will be the best four years of your life!" over and over and over. People would tell me about how much I would love college with this glazed look in their eye as if they would do anything to go back to that moment in time. So to say I went into college with high expectations would be a huge understatement.
My first semester of freshman year was pretty rough. All of a sudden all of the people that I loved the most were hours away. I didn't know how to handle all of the change. It was then that I realized how much I loved and craved consistency and familiarity. After first semester, I slowly started to adjust more. I had a friend group and a sorority and life starting getting better. I had so many good times, but also lots of hard times. School was hard and I didn't fully know what I was doing. What I did know was that I still really missed home and being with a family. But things kept getting better.
By junior year I was off. I had great friends, a dream internship, amazing opportunities and I was back with my long term boyfriend. I moved into an apartment and worked hard to make it into a home. I was able to cook and decorate and clean and feel that I was more in control of my life. I had some of the best times during my junior year that I will always value.
This year, my senior year, I finally feel settled. I have a life here; a good one! I have a job, a dog, lots of friends, an amazing boyfriend, a family that loves me; I could not be more thankful. But now, everything is about to change again, just when it was all working out. I have no idea where I will be next year, or what the future holds, but for the first time I am excited for the change.
While many of my friends are counting down the days to graduation as a death sentence, I have made a commitment to value every day but not look at it as the end. Is college the best years of your life? Well, I certainly hope not because why would I want to live thinking that the best of my days are behind me? I choose to think that the best years of my life are still to come. That one day I will look back and think that I could never imagine that I would be as happy as I am right then.
Yes, college has been incredible. I have had experiences that I will never forget and I will hold in my heart for the rest of my life. I made lifelong friends, started my career and grew as a person more than I ever could have imagined. But I refuse to believe that the best years of my life are coming to an end. So no, college is not the best four years of my life. They were crazy, exciting, amazing, stressful, turbulent, inconsistent, incredible, life-changing years, but there are so many more to come! So I will soon be heading off into the "real world" with that same crazy high expectation level for life because I know that the best is yet to come. And on that note, I will close the computer and go enjoy one of my last few days in this chapter of "the best years of my life" because now I am ready for what comes next.