Ever since I saw ABC Family’s GREEK, I knew I wanted to go away to college. It was always a time that I had daydreamed about. From Greek life, to majors, to sporting events and internships, I always knew I would love going away to college. Now as an outgoing college senior, I still hold that same love and passion for my University. Yet, just like any dream, reality begins to set in and alter your fantasy.
Did I get to go away to my dream school, was it located in the most amazing city in the world, did I get to join amazing organizations that make me proud everyday to be apart of, have I fallen in and out of love, and have I discovered new dreams, and abilities within myself that I did not know existed? Yes, yes, and yes!
Yet as a college senior, there are three main lessons that I have noticed that everyone learns as they go through college.
To fall in and out of love
Yes, you will fall in and out of love with people, but more than that you will fall in love and out of love with your dreams, with sides of yourself, with various industries, and organizations. College will push you, academically and socially. You will fall out of love with various partners and friendships, you might fall out of love with a dream you once had, or a value you once held close. Yet as many times as you fall out of love, you will fall right back in. You will fall in love with the resilience you find within yourself day after day, you will fall in love with the passion you have for new projects and dreams, you will fall in love with new friendships and ideals about who you are.
You will learn to love all sides of yourself: the good and the bad, the strong and the weak. You will find your passion and learn to fall in love with the process of making your dreams come true. You will fall but you will get back up.
To recognize the good and the bad
You will learn to trust your gut. To listen to that little voice in your head, heart, or stomach that is telling you that something isn’t right. You will learn how to see the good and bad in people. You will learn from the friends you make that the world is very different outside of your hometown and your campus. You will learn that not everyone has had the same opportunities as you, and that you haven’t had the same opportunities as others. You will witness injustice and you will learn to protect yourself and fight for those who can’t.
The majority of the time, I know when I am making a good decision and I know when I am making a bad one. I know when I have met someone good and I know when someone shouldn’t be in my life anymore. I know that some of my dreams are worth chasing even if I’m to afraid to start today. I know what to do, but sometimes it can be really hard, because at this age, most of the time it means doing things for yourself. Being selfish, is not always a bad thing. Choosing to stay in and do homework is never a bad thing and applying to an internship that already has 100 applicants is not a bad thing. You have gotten this far in life for a reason, you know what to do, you just have to learn to trust in yourself enough to do it.
College will challenge you, from mental breakdowns in the library to sad phone calls home. You will face challenges but you will overcome them. You will meet groups of people who will change your life, who will stand by you and hold you up when you fall. You will meet people who are the completely opposite of you and you will find your similarities. You will find yourself and find your dreams.
So whenever someone asks me “Is college really worth it?” “Is it really as great as people say?” “Would you do it all over again?” I will always answer yes.