Sometime around 8:00 last night, while my hand was racing to copy down the letters of the Greek alphabet from the whiteboard and my mind was trying to commit their pronunciation to memory, it hit me. Summer vacation is definitely over.
And the craziest part: at the end of this quarter (10 weeks), I will officially be a college graduate! Woo-hoo!
Accordingly, nostalgia is setting in. Though mine has been far from the typical “college experience” of partying and the like that you may see depicted in movies, it has been nothing short of excellent. And here’s why:
1. I learned. A lot.
My classes were incredible, and I’m thankful for the knowledge they gave me. More than anything, though, I learned so much about myself and about what it means to be a good person while I have been in college. My advice to anyone about to go to college (or already in college): Learn from your mistakes…but don’t use that as an excuse to make stupid mistakes than can be avoided. Throw yourself into your classes and give them your all. You are there to learn and you will regret a failed class so much more than a missed party.
2. I fell in love…
…with my faith. There is a horrible mentality that when you go off to college you somehow become “too intelligent” for your faith. This is the height of hubris—as if at 17 we think we have more wisdom than the Early Church Fathers. Many young Catholics stop attending Sunday mass regularly after a few months of being away at school. Thankfully, my university made it a goal to instill in me, again and again, a desire and a deeper thirst for an understanding of my faith.
Your university may not be like mine in this regard, but don’t let that be an excuse for you to abandon your faith. You need a relationship with God. Just trust me on that one.
3. I drank…twice?
Once while visiting Rome and once on my 21st birthday. Neither time did I get drunk. I say this not because I think drinking is bad, but because (contrary to popular belief) it’s not a requirement for a fulfilling college lifestyle. Don’t let other people pressure you into their definition of fun. Drink if you want to (and can handle it), don’t if you don’t (or can’t). In all cases, be mature. Youth is an age. Stupidity is a choice.
4. I partied.
No really, I’m serious. While I may not have often found myself at the typical college definition of a “party”, I had some dang-good times here (and yeah, I just said “dang-good”). You want to know the secret to having a really good time? You don’t need a party full of nameless faces. Just surround yourself with close friends you can really trust. Isn’t that where all of the best times begin anyways?