The past three years have flown by faster than I could have ever imagined! I remember talking to upperclassmen when I first arrived to campus that were on their way out saying things like “Enjoy your time here, it goes by quickly!” or “Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!” Then, I thought, “Eh, it’s four years… high school was four years and drug on and on.” Believe me, I see now what they were talking about!

I remember first moving in and literally bumping into my university president outside my dorm not knowing who he was as discombobulated freshman and now I am a senior. It feels weird typing it with my fingers let alone the eeriness of when it flicks off my tongue… I am a senior. This journey, thus far, has taught me so much about the world around me, how I relate to it, and even more about myself as an individual. I have grown in many more ways than I ever thought one could grow; I have already done so many things I never thought possible; and I have met some of the most amazing people I could have ever dreamt of knowing!

This college experience has brought so many smiles (too many to count), but not every day or moment has been one of happiness. Some days were a challenge and some circumstances seemed too tough to triumph, but I am glad to say that I did. I learned to identify my weaknesses and seek ways to strengthen them. In doing so, I became quite good at recognizing the individuals and resources that could help and assist me best (I learned the importance of asking for help). I learned how to be resourceful when my resources were limited – especially when my finances were most restricted. Being at university taught me how to be more open to others’ feelings, views, opinions, and lifestyles. I now understand that doing so does not necessarily require conformity or agreement, but respect and kindness.

I knew that through my collegiate studies my knowledge would be expanded inside the classroom and in the library or wherever I took up my academic studies, but I never thought or imagined that I’d learn so much in the cafeteria or out on the quad or even in my residence hall. We are constantly told that going to college is about getting an education, but we never really understand the quality and the holistic value of that education. We never really understand that the lessons that college teach us are not always handed down from a lecturer or found in a hefty textbook, but are also taught through experiences; experiences with our peers, with complete strangers, or even with a custodial member or cafeteria tenant.

College has taught me much more than I could have ever asked to learn and for that I am extremely grateful. I am eager to find out what other lessons I will learn and experiences I will gain over this next year. I just hope that it slows down just a little so that I can just savor these last months of undergrad. And please believe me when I say: enjoy every minute of it, because it’ll be over before you know it.