You wait your entire life to experience the “best four years of your life.” You ‘fun’ your way through elementary school, torture your way through the awkwardness that is middle school, and survive high school until you finally graduate and prepare yourself for entering the “real world.” Or at least the realest world you will have encountered thus far in your life.
I could not wait to attend college.
When you hear people discuss their college years it always sounds legendary. When you see college represented on television it looks legendary. So, when it’s finally your time, when you have finally arrived at your dorm on freshmen move-in day, you look up, you sigh, and you walk through that building thinking, “I’m about to embark on the best four years of my life…”
*five minutes later*
Shit. I’m a senior. Where the hell did these four years go?
The supposedly “best” four years of my life have also been the quickest four years of my life. Reason #1 of why I hate college: why does it go by so fast?! As soon as I get adjusted, as soon as I’m getting the hang of things, *BAM* graduation lurks around the corner. I mean seriously, sometimes I feel like I haven’t aged a day over 16, but here I am: a 21 year old college senior. Wow. Reason #2 of why I hate college: I’ll be damned if these last 3 years were the best years of my life. I still feel as though I have yet to live let alone have these past few years be the pinnacle of my entire life. I’m not going to say college was bad because it wasn’t, and honestly, college is what you make it. I’ve put a lot of focus on bringing my grades up in order to put myself in a competitive position for life after college, while also going to parties, events, and joining various school organizations. I can say that my college experience thus far has been pretty well-rounded. But, I can also say that college didn’t live up to my fantasized expectations that television and my imagination embedded in my mind. (College stories in movies and on television of course never mention the coursework, then again I attend a school that is academic heavy). Reason #3 of why I hate college: the academic STRESS. I love to learn as much as the next nerd, but I hate the stress that comes with testing! As a freshmen, I had serious test anxiety and psyching myself out would really hinder my test scores, now, or this past year, I have learned how to take tests and think about tests in a way that minimizes my stress and I’ve done so much better. However, I can still do without the stress, period.
On the other hand…
Those same reasons I gave for hating college: how quickly it passes, the false hope of experiencing the “Best” years of my life, and the stress, all contribute to my love for college as well. I’m sad and in disbelief that it passes so quickly, but I’m also happy about the time that I have spent there. Even though at times I’m like “Forget this school I can’t wait to graduate and move on” I know that when I do move on I’m going to think back and wish I could go back if only for a day. I wouldn’t call these past few years the “best,” but I have grown up and learned so much about myself and others through this experience. So, despite these years not being all party filled and care-free, they have taught me so much that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Finally, the stress. I don’t love the stress, but I do love coming out on the other side of it. I love accomplishing things I worked so hard to accomplish, and I love seeing the fruits of my labor and seeing all my hard work pay off.
No matter how much I say I hate school, no matter how much I say I can’t wait to graduate. Truth is, I hope this final year goes by as slow as possible. I hope that I get the absolute MOST out of this final year because there is no going back. You only get one shot at undergrad, fresh out of high school, in a new environment, with all new people. I hope to make this last year the best year of the four years I’ve spent in good ol’ college.