Four years ago, at only 17 years old, I embarked on a new adventure: college. I remember being excited, nervous, anxious, scared, and soon very overwhelmed. Overall, it has been quite the experience and anything but easy.
Throughout my college career, I was consistently told to “live it up,” guaranteed these would be the “best four years of my life!” What was I doing wrong then? Because going through it, day by day, college certainly wasn’t the crazy fun adventure I was led to expect…
Don’t get me wrong. College wasn’t awful, and I’m not going to say I “struggled” through it. I got decent grades and didn’t skip class. I had a good friend group and we made some good memories. At the same time, it was a lot of work. Admittedly, I spread myself a bit thin starting my freshman year by taking on more than the required course load, trying out new clubs, and all the while living on my own for the first time. Classes weren’t too difficult, but I kept to myself a lot and didn’t “live it up” as much as other college students.
Now, at 21 years old and graduating, I look back and realize just how much I learned (and grew) during these past four years. While they may not have always been easy or “the best four years of my life!” they were well worth it.
Ecclesiastes 3:1: For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Full of its fair share of ups and downs, college was my chance to experience many of these seasons. College provided me with copious opportunities, both good and bad. It gave me reasons to celebrate and have fun; it gave me reasons to cry. It gave me the chance to be myself, as well as learn who that was. I’ve gained and lost friends. I’ve learned to forgive and forget. I’m also happy to say I’m not the same person I was four years ago.
My Biggest Lesson
If there is one lesson from my time at college which I wish to carry with me for the rest of my adult life…it is to be thankful. To all of the challenges and successes I have endured these past four years, and my own personal triumphs and tribulations, I am thankful.
I am thankful for my family, whose love and support has been invaluable. I am thankful for my friends, both gained and lost. I truly believe certain people come into our lives at certain times, for a reason. I have been fortunate enough to meet some terrific people here at school to include my peers, professors, and fellow work employees. They all hold a special place in my heart, and I thank each of them for their wisdom and kindness.
Finally, I am thankful for YOU – my readers here today! This blog has changed my life and I am beyond fortunate to have the opportunity to share my journey with you all. Please note, just because school is ending, Dauntless will not. This blog will continue. Body positivity and self-acceptance is an ongoing endeavor. With it will come many more adventures, lessons, and experiences I look forward to sharing with you.
I simply wanted to create this post as an ode to my four years here at college and as a way to express my deepest thanks.
Even if you’re not a college-goer yourself or you graduated many moons ago, my lesson here still holds true: There is a reason and a time for everything. Simply make the best of it and be thankful. ♥