Lately, my friends and I have found ourselves sitting around and reminiscing about the past four years of our lives. We’ll be graduating college in less than a month, yet it feels like just yesterday we were moving in and propping open our Post-it covered doors welcoming everyone in our hotel to stop by and introduce themselves. Freshman year will always be my favorite. I felt so free, yet an adult at the same time. I felt like I could do whatever I wanted, yet I still had my own responsibilities.
I have recreated myself over the past four years and I have come to love the new me. Yes, college is about furthering your education and armoring yourself with knowledge and experience that you can potentially use for future job opportunities, but what I really took from it all was how to deal with real life issues and network with different people from all walks of life. I learned to deal with my own issues without my family holding my hand and walking me through things. I learned to be me.
I work weekends at a retail store and as I was ringing up a group of girls, I overheard them talking about going to college. They were all super excited to be graduating high school soon and some of them weren’t sure if they wanted to go to college right away. “It’s going to take so long, I don’t know if I can do it,” One girl said and another agreed, “Yeah, that’s why I’m going to do community college first and then go away.” The more they spoke the more it sounded like they were getting afraid to go away for four years, so I decided to jump in.
I asked them all how old they were and they were each either 18 or 19-years-old. Then, I told them I was 22 and I was in my last year of college. They all poured with questions like, “Was it hard?” and, “Did it take long? “ I laughed because they reminded me of myself so much. I told them it was difficult, but nothing they couldn’t get through and then I told them this.
College is one of the best experiences of my life and it’s one of those things that I wish everyone could experience, but I know because of certain circumstances that isn’t possible. However, if it is possible then make I happen, there’s money out there it’s just a matter of finding it and going after it. Yeah, it’s four years, but those years fly by just like any other. The time is going to go by regardless of whether you enroll or not, so you might as well do it and the life lessons you get from it all is priceless.
I get that college isn’t for everyone, maybe you’re interested in enlisting into the military. Whatever it is you’re considering if the only thing holding you back is fear, or the amount of time it will take then I strongly encourage you to set all that aside and just apply.
There are going to be plenty of people who try to discourage you, so that’s why I felt like it was my duty to help encourage those girls and anyone else who comes across this column.
The feeling that I am experiencing right now is a bit indescribable, but it’s something that I want everyone to be able to relate to because it’s just that amazing. I feel like I’m finally finishing something that I’ve been working so hard towards and even though I’m sad and a part of me feel like this is it and my life is over, deep down I know that this is only the very beginning. This is where my life actually begins.