Looking back at the past few years of my life here at the W, I see how much I have changed as a person. The biggest change I notice is my worldview. I went from a nervous teen who—for some reason—thought he knew it all to a young man who is apprehensive about the future.
The things we learn and do in college stay with us for the rest of our lives, either in direct ways or as memories. We develop relationships, make choices and gain knowledge that prepare us to face the world after we graduate.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had my confidence in myself shaken through different circumstances and had to slowly rebuild it as my final full semester began. As I mended the break, I began to realize that while I always focused on large things like what job I’ll have and other life decisions, I let the little things in life slip through the cracks.
When I say little things, I mean small moments in the here and now. It could be a quiet moment on a bench in the park, a raucous party with your friends or that feeling when you win a game over in Stark. Sometimes we get so focused on the future that we forget to remember today.
In a recent conversation I had with Dr. Tom Velek, he noted that the unknown is part of the fun of life. He went on to say that having a plan that is followed to the letter would be pretty boring. Two months ago, I would have argued the merits of having a plan that would allow for a little spontaneity but not too much. Now, I can only agree with him.
Being prepared is good, but flexibility is arguably more important. Life is unpredictable and it will never turn out the way we expect it to. I used to be a history major, came to communication, scoffed at journalism and now I am the editor of the school newspaper. So much has changed personally and in my situation within two years, yet it feels like the blink of an eye.
Sometimes, all we can do is enjoy the ride and continue do what we love to do. This is the most exciting time of our lives. College is the first real chance we, as developing adults, get to find out what we really believe, what we stand behind and who we are.
We forge our identities through the fun and the trials we experience within these few years. Friendships are made through this shared experience and some last lifetimes.
Life will get hard and you will question your resolve. Just remember that every exam has a time limit and any test will eventually end. Keep going, never stop learning, take the opportunities you are presented with and enjoy the little things, whatever they may be.
Reflection is a great way of seeing who you have become and recognizing the confidence that you acquire with time and experience.
When you look back, don’t let it be with regret. A lifetime is too precious to waste and is yours to shape. When I look back decades from now I would prefer to do it with a wry smile and be able to take a nice walk down the long, winding path of memories that I forged throughout my life.