First Year of College: The Longest Year of My Life Felt Like 30 Seconds

I can’t count how many times someone has told me to appreciate my time in college because before I blink it’ll all be gone!

I would always politely smile and nod, secretly hoping they don’t go into a longer speech about life and how quickly it goes by because I’ve heard the same sentences directed my way several times.

And it’s true, and I’ve always known that it was true. High school felt painfully slow, but after graduation it seemed like someone accidentally pressed the speed button to “x2” and my life is going by quicker than I would have ever imagined.

I can still feel the nerves, the excitement, and the dread I felt the day we were driving up to my college. I did my best to numb myself to the deep sadness I felt for having to leave my family. I reveled in the ecstatic feeling of being able to start fresh, to explore a brand new school and ultimately a new future.

High school left me in a  dull and dry routine, and I was ready for college and a change of scene. The first year of college has left me with life lessons, academic lessons, and I’ve confirmed things about myself that I never really wanted to admit.

I know the ways I can become a better person, and I love how the first year of college has allowed me to become humble. The first year was a little tattle tale, pointing out everything I did wrong, but I know that these things happen for a reason.

Independence and freedom were things that I never really thought I would appreciate. It was always the little things that I would notice. Being able to buy milk on my own, handling an atm for the first time, and even using the bus. They were such small steps to adulthood others wouldn’t even think twice about doing these things. But every time I step off campus and have dinner with my friends, I think to myself, “Wow, you’re in complete control of your life right now. You have so much responsibility.”

And it was scary, and it’s still scary. College is an experience of its own. I don’t find it remarkably special like movies and others make it out to be while I live my everyday life, but when I step out of my college-driven bubble, and I look at all of the things that I’ve done, it’s a crazy rollercoaster.

Well, not that crazy- but you get what I mean. Things happen, and things change, and it’s an experience that truly pushes you to become someone you either want to be or have to be.

And the problem with college I realized, is that the motivation to adapt and to handle the changes and the challenges that happen in life has to come from me. I can’t depend on my parents or on my advisors, the motivation to improve and to explore has to come from within me, and others are just beautiful people who can help me along my journey.

And that’s what I learned the first year of college (among other things).

Motivation to succeed, to improve, and to move on will always depend on your attitude. If you want to do something, don’t blame the fact that you have too much homework, everyone in the entire school has too much homework. Don’t blame it on the fact that you haven’t slept in three days, now whose fault is that?

Every choice you make, is your choice.

You have to get up and do whatever it is you want to do. There is no “right moment”. That “right moment” might never come.

I’ve realized the my biggest regrets are turning down opportunities that might have led me down an exciting path in life.

This was a mess of a post, but I hope somewhere along the way you guys found something useful. Or relatable.

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