I’m graduating in about a month and a half. Soon, I’ll walk off this campus and won’t come back, leaving behind what’s effectively become my world for the past four years.
College is a weirdly formative time. You strut onto campus at 18 thinking that you know just about everything there is to know about the world – and over the next eight semesters, you learn that, well, you don’t.
Life as a college student involves a weird mixture of growing into what I like to call a “certified adult,” while remaining acutely aware of your place on the totem pole (hint: it’s low). I pay my bills and have two jobs – but I still sometimes call my uncle in a moderate panic if my car is making a weird noise.
I’m not afraid to start my adult journey, move away, get an apartment in a new city and start fresh. Still, I can’t help but feel like everything is going a little … fast. It’s weird for me to think about the fact that after May 19, I’ll probably never again wait 30 minutes for a Starbucks drink in Beckman Hall, never again sit under the sun in the Attallah Piazza in springtime and never again grab a green exam book from the gift shop an hour before a final (Although I’m pretty thrilled about that last one).
There’s a lot I looked forward to about growing up. I anxiously counted down my milestones: learning to drive, being able to vote, having my first legal drink. I wished away seconds, minutes, months and years, counting down on the calendar until graduation. But I never really planned for what I’d do when I arrived at what I was counting down to.
We’re told over and over again that life goes by fast. Adults warn us that we’ll be moved out, graduated and starting a 9 to 5 job in the blink of an eye. But we roll our eyes, thinking, “There’s no way it could possibly go that fast.” It does.
The funny thing is, you probably won’t believe me until you’re a month away from graduating yourself. You’ll roll your eyes at this column just like I did at every Instagram post from a senior who “can’t believe how fast college has gone!”
I don’t believe that college is the “best four years of your life,” as many people will wistfully claim. But it is important. What you learn here doesn’t always come from a book – but it’ll stay with you forever.