Entering college, I remember people saying, “college will be the best time of your life.” Upon hearing this, I imagined enjoying myself at parties, meeting tons of people and being a social butterfly. And sure, college parties are great, but they weren’t the best thing to come out of my college experience.
The most important thing I learned was not how to party like a rockstar, cram for an exam, or (try to) live with others. On the other hand, I’ve realized that every challenge I encounter is one to learn and grow from.
Throughout college, I’ve developed a sense of myself from the many challenges I’ve faced. Whether struggling through roommates, scaling the rock wall of relationships, or facing a disgruntled professor, I’ve been forced to take several long looks in the mirror.
While tough situations can often lead to initially blaming others, I’ve found it’s more important to analyze my own actions. There’s always more than one side to every story, and understanding my involvement is the first step to solving the problem.
Beyond looking at myself, I’ve learned to put myself in others’ shoes. Compassion and empathy can go a long way and often ease negative thoughts…at least for me.
So, as I make the transition from college into the “real world,” I plan to look at everything I encounter as a learning experience. It’s impossible to avoid negative situations, but if I’m able to turn them into positives, I’m not sure life could get much better.
Last Tuesday marked the beginning of my last semester of college; mixed emotions have ensued.
In one sense, I’m excited. My school career will be over for the first time in nearly 20 years. But, on the other hand, I’m pretty darn good at being a student—why quit now?
Plus, by deciding to not continue my education (for now), I’m agreeing to enter the “real world.” This means I must find a job in a tough economy, no longer live off of my parents money, and give up my three-month summer vacation and one-month winter break. This doesn’t really sound that great…
But, at the same time, I’ve got that anxiously excited feeling brewing in my gut.
After four years of college, this is the end-goal. This is where I’m supposed to be, and yet, what lies ahead of me is as blurry as ever. Isn’t everything supposed to be super-clear at this point? Apparently not. I feel like each day is ticking away quicker than I’d like and I’m being led blindly into a dark room.
Still, I’m excited.
I always get this way before a big change. My anxiety builds and I feel sick until I finally take the plunge. I simply have to remind myself that change is normal and I’m a pro at adapting. Yes, there will be ups and downs along the way, but as long as I’m happy, that’s all that matters.
Anyways, it’s in the not knowing that everything is possible.