It has almost become second nature for me to spend the entire school year waiting for summer break. Then, when summer break rolls around, I start to get restless, even if I have obligations, and I anxiously look forward to the start of the next year. Then, the cycle repeats itself over again. In a sense, I am never really in the present moment. I am always looking for the next new or exciting thing. Now, as a rising senior, looking back on the past three years of my college experience, I want to make this summer and the upcoming school year different from previous years.

It is difficult for me to digest the fact that 75% of my college journey is now over. Surely, there will be new experiences and opportunities, but I have less time to check off items on my college bucket list that I envisioned as a senior in high school. Looking back, these past three years have been nothing that I could have ever expected or planned for. As a high school senior, I never thought that I would grow out of my interests in robotics, experience heartbreaks, get ill, make mistakes, fail classes, lose friends, change majors, or nearly withdraw from the school of my dreams . All I could think about was the clubs I would join, the fun things that my new friends and I would do, and the thrills of a rising GPA. But when I got to my dream school, WPI, I often found myself counting down the days until the next break and dreaming that I could be anywhere else. 

Although my college experience has not gone as intended, I can not sum up my college journey thus far to be good or bad. There were highs and lows, and there were opportunities and missed chances. I didn’t join any of the clubs I intended to join, I never found my tribe, and my GPA took a beating. However, I no longer look at these occurrences as bad things. Everything happens for a reason. All of my experiences were perfectly aligned so I could be the imperfect student that I am today. I still made meaningful relationships, explored new hobbies, and fell in love with a new major. 

For all of you rising seniors in high school or college, I encourage you to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect college experience. Your college journey will be unique to you, and even if this journey has detours or roadblocks, you will make it to your destination as a more resilient person then you ever thought you would be. Savor those walks to boring lectures, long assignments, and lunches in between classes with friends. Enjoy your summers and live in the moment. Even if you don’t completely enjoy these moments now, you will miss them someday.