By Chelsea Kuykendall
It’s that time of year, the end of the semester. While some are in the midst of studying for finals, thinking fondly of winter break plans, others have one thing on their mind: graduation. About a year ago, I graduated with my bachelor degree, and now am taking classes to apply to graduate school. So naturally this time of year gets me thinking of my own graduation and the months leading up to the ceremony. I’d like to share my thoughts with seniors who are leaving college and impart insight to freshmen who are just beginning.
Freshman year of college doesn’t seem like so long ago, which is funny considering how ninth through twelfth grade felt like forever. College, of course, is vastly different from high school; most will graduate at some point that high school diplomas have become a dime a dozen. The friendships you made in high school felt like they were the most important decisions you ever made. The classes were passable, and you’re parents were more of an annoyance than anything. However you soon found that this isn’t the case in real life.
Some four years in college feel more like a blink of an eye, measured only by your mounting debt. You think back on all the courses you have taken, the struggles, the tutoring, the study groups, and the notes, and you can appreciate them. You know now that you earned the grades you received, for good or bad, and it means more to you that you had to work for it. I never felt more accomplished than senior year, when I was in rotations and had to apply the knowledge I had learned over the last few years, and was able to do so with confidence.
The friends you make in college have a special kind of importance; these are the people that you used to commiserate and celebrate with. However part of you knows this will be the last time you see them as they go off on their own paths into the world. Your parents, while still annoying, have become more tolerable, or you have grown to see that they really are not so bad. You make some really positive decisions and some really bad, which we all have. It breaks you and makes you into the person you are today, a growing adult.
When you sit in your seat on graduation day, you won’t believe that you finally made it because not everyone does. When you go to walk across the stage to get your diploma, you won’t be able to hide your excitement but that slight longing that things don’t change. Then as you descend down the stairs back to your seat, your mind is a blur of thoughts of the future. So whether you go onto to work, more schooling or do not use your degree at all, you’re never really ready, but now you’re better prepared for the world ahead.