At what point do you start to realize that since freshman year you have completely transitioned? Today, I took the shuttle for the first time since I have moved out of the dorms. Not only was I surrounded by girls actually put together on a Friday morning, but I was listening to them talk about the week long alcohol bender they have been on. One girl was even talking to her friend about the boy she recently met, seeming optimistic about it going somewhere.
Being young and naive as a freshman is something you should take full advantage of. You presume in these four years your life is going to change completely. You are surrounded by a new group of boys your age! With each month that passes you assume you will find a new love, one you can tell your kids about when your older. You assume that you will be going across the world, studying abroad for at least one semester. Spring breaks every year sound like a given. Dressing up for class every morning… easy. Studying still doesn’t seem like the most frustrating thing in the world, because whether you want to admit it or not the challenge of studying for you first college exams is sort of exciting. You think frat parties will change your life and create a whole new group of “cool” friends for you. Being a freshman you have the energy and exhilaration to part take in week long benders, afraid to miss out on the smallest thing. As a freshman, you conform to whatever group of friends you meet- even picking up the slang they use.
Senior year tends to be a little different. Class is at 9:30, I’ll roll out of bed at 9:00 to leave my house my 9:15. Instead of feeling that you need to find your love in college, you realize you only moved into another small town that doesn’t define the rest of your life in the slightest way. Half the guys you thought were remarkably attractive your freshman year, are now only average (and your best friend who you would never date). You realize classes can be harder than you thought, and studying abroad isn’t always an option. Money is extremely tight and you will be lucky if you even get to go on spring break with your friends once. The overwhelming feeling of being completely over the past four years of school work has taken over, and even 10 minutes of studying gives you a headache… but you know this is it and you have to push through it. You realize frat parties are actually the worst thing in the world. Drinking for even three days straight hurts every nerve and muscle in your body. Most importantly, you find who you are. You know the people you want to have in your life after college and the people you will want to get away from,you find your values and ethics, and most importantly you realize how much of your life you have ahead of you after you leave college. This isn’t the end of anything, it’s the beginning of a whole new life.
You see, you have no idea what lays ahead of you the next four years. So to all you underclassmen out there, take full advantage of going out every night and thinking the boy (or girl) you met the night before might be the one. After four years, it might all change, but this is the only time you have to be this naive in a setting where it is accepted. One day, you’ll realize that all the time you’ve wasted and spent out has actually lead you to be the person that you want to be. Each step you’ve taken in your college town is a lesson for your future, and a chance to become the person you will be proud of.