Photos taken by Abby Madan
I never believed college seniors when they said these are the fastest four years of your life.
For me, time often moved slowly and I felt stuck.
It’s not that I wasn’t happy for much of my college experience; I felt the joy of making lifelong friends, I found a major that truly felt like it was right for me and even fell in love for the first time.
However, weaved in throughout these experiences was overwhelming loneliness.
I’m here to tell you that even with some of my darkest days felt at this campus, I am a college senior that can’t believe how fast these four years have gone.
Some of you might be dreading graduation, while some of you are counting the days until you can move your tassel to the left-hand side. Or maybe, you’re in the middle like me — feeling sad to leave a place that has become a comfort behind, but also excited for a new beginning.
Whether you’re a freshman or soon-to-be senior, you still have time left. I’m here to challenge you to make more of your college experience than you expect of yourself. As an introvert, I get the draw of staying home, and maybe going out isn’t your thing — that’s okay.
You can still make amazing memories without late nights out (although those are fun too).
Joining Ablaze and being entrusted to lead a group of women as copy editor is something I had always hoped for, but never thought I could do. Push yourself to try something new; you will never know what you can do until you try.
What would I tell my freshman self?
The people and opportunities that are meant for you will stand the test of time.
College isn’t about perfection.
It’s easy to strive toward perfection. I thought I would come into college and make too many lifelong friends to count. I thought I applied to school with my dream major. I thought I would fall in love within the halls of my dorm.
None of that happened.
It’s so easy to feel like you need everything all at once.
Although I’m not sure if I would have believed it myself before now, there is beauty in failure and your destiny often lies past the doors that close. It’s up to you whether you decide to keep looking.
Accepting failure as a mechanism for growth will change your outlook on life.
The times I interviewed for positions and wasn’t chosen have taught me the incredible importance of self-confidence. People can’t believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.
My failed relationships with friends and partners have taught me the importance of shared values and the ability to listen, even when it hurts.
The times when I desperately wanted to fit in places where I felt like I didn’t belong have taught me that there is joy in finding happiness in the smallest things.
While it would be much easier to learn these lessons without pain, that is very rarely possible. In my case, pain is what has driven my innermost self-reflection.
Now, as the end of my time at college approaches rapidly, I realize that everything that was meant to be in my life came with time. I have a few best friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world; it’s not a whole bridal party but it’s friendships that are tried and true. I switched my major from journalism to advertising reluctantly but was opened to a field I now feel so connected to. I’ve found myself in a long-distance relationship that has brought me tangible love even from 300 miles apart.
I didn’t get everything I wanted as a freshman, but that’s because I couldn’t even have fathomed the life I have now. And the life I have now is truly wonderful.
I’m just one college senior of thousands, but I hope my words have touched the people who needed it most.
I have confidence that you will grow into the person you are meant to be.
A College Senior