Memoirs of an (almost) Senior: Looking Back

I know what you’re thinking. Is it that time already? Not quite yet. But for some of us transfer students, we’re about to start a new year here at Maryville College. For many of us (myself included), this new year will be the last.

I transferred to MC from Pellissippi State Community College this past January. I came in with an Associate’s in Literature, and I will walk out with a Bachelor’s in Writing Communications with a minor in Business. As my time at MC comes to a close, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my college career. It seems like a lifetime has passed by since my freshman year at PSTCC to bring me to where I am now.

When you enter high school, they tell you it’s going to “be the best four years of your life.” Most of us know this to be the biggest lie we’ve ever been told, next to everything our parents told us about Santa Claus. Looking back today, my time at college has been the absolute best time of my life so far.

Whether or not you’re attending cabin parties every weekend or pulling all-nighters with your roommate, college is about finding what you enjoy and making the most out of it. Sometimes it takes us awhile to figure out where we belong. The important thing to remember during this process of trial and error is that it is just that, a process. One important lesson college has taught me is that as time goes on, our society puts more and more emphasis on conforming to certain standards. Not only do we have to be open to constant change, but we have to rise to meet the standards and pressures this change demands. That’s just how life works.

Sometimes we aren’t going to meet all of the requirements. Sometimes we’re going to fall a little short of what others expect from us. And you know what? That’s totally okay. That’s what this time is supposed to be used for. So make the most of it, embrace your shortcomings. They aren’t your weaknesses – make them your strengths. Learn from them and grow from them.

Someone once told me, “you aren’t responsible for anyone else’s happiness but your own.” But I didn’t fully realized the importance of that statement until very recently. You can’t go throughout the entirety of life with the weight of someone else’s happiness on your shoulders. What I’m trying to say is, how successful will you feel your life has been at the end of it all when all you can do is look back and focus on how many people you’ve disappointed? Instead, focus on the good. Focus on you. Focus on developing into who you are and who you are going to become.

College is an all-around struggle, a period of transition and an intense stage of personal development. Figure it out now while you have the time to, before it’s too late. Make mistakes, do something crazy with your hair, throw some decals on your car, because one day we’re not going to see the point in any of it at all. Embrace it now while you can; this grace period doesn’t last forever, even if we like to pretend it will.

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