When we reach the end of our college career, we reach a time of personal reflection and realize that what we have actually obtained is a wealth of knowledge learned outside the classroom. Knowledge is fueled by passion, and often times that passion is not found in the academic paths we choose for ourselves.
The passion is found in the extracurricular activity that becomes a family, the elective classes that we take from a major that we almost wish we had declared, and the late nights we spend with friends who were just as excited to find that party with the live band five miles away from campus as we were.
The passion is found in the roommate that shows you the importance of self-expression, the best friend that discusses complex ideas about the universe with you for hours on end and the first person that makes you forget about your high school boyfriend or girlfriend. In college, somebody may take your heart when you offer it and then break it, and another may teach you how to truly love and receive love in return.
In the hundreds of years that the university system has existed, the curriculum has been ever-changing.
Historic events have taken place and scientific discoveries have been made, forcing the rewriting of classroom materials. Subjects of our final papers and the questions on our exams will be irrelevant when we’ve aged, but our grandchildren will undoubtedly attend college and experience the same successes, failures, friendships, relationships, heartbreaks and revelations that we have had.
There is no advice that can be given to make the overall experience easier, because the hardships bring us personal growth. However, though I am hardly qualified to do so, I have some advice to give for any college student reading this.
Go to the stereotypical college-town coffee shop, order an overpriced espresso and listen to indie music on your iPod. Go to the party, drink the keg beer but never the punch and dance on a table. Change your major four times until you feel passionate about what you are studying. Experience heartbreak with betrayal, and experience love with selflessness. Never lose sight of the fact that your entrance into the so called “real world” is coming sooner than you think, and enjoy every moment that you have so that you are prepared for the ups and downs that life will inevitably throw at you. Take this advice, or don’t take it at all. What is important is that you make your college experience your own, and that you make it count.
Leah Mulroney can be contacted at email@example.com