I may be a bit premature with this posting because I technically don’t finish until Wednesday, but I wanted to tell you all about my college experience: how it began, how it went, and how it has ended.
Technically, my first day wasn’t really my first day because I had done a year of college in high school (thank you, Upward Bound!) but it still felt like the first day. I didn’t get lost, I didn’t drop my books, but I was entering a new arena of life and I felt very small amidst all of those grown-ups.
The first rule I learned at college was not about astronomy though, despite what my book says; it was this: Always check for wedding rings. And who knew that by the end, I would be wearing one of my own? I sure didn’t!
My biggest regret about college was that first year. For the first few months, I still lived at home and my mother happened to be attending the same school at the same time. I was selfish and I constantly acted embarrassed to be around her. I wanted her to drop me off before she parked so we wouldn’t have to walk together. I didn’t want to eat lunch with her. I wouldn’t even ask her how her day had been when we got home. I’d give anything to go back and change how I acted toward her those months.
I moved to a different city, went to a different school, and suddenly I realized how much I missed my family, and how very little I cared about what those strangers at school had thought of me. Even though I didn’t have a car, I made frequent trips back down to my family and I was never embarrassed to be seen with them again; in fact, I wanted everyone at school to see how amazing my mother was for making the hard decisions she’d had to make to get there. I don’t know if my behavior ever made up for that first year, but I tried my best.
I learned all about roommates, and paying bills, and spent more time thinking about boys than I probably should have, and I’m sure I took some classes in there somewhere. But most importantly, I learned about myself. It seems cliche, but I learned how to be a better friend, a better Latter-Day Saint, and a better person. I learned how to be a grown-up, then a girlfriend, and finally, a wife.
I’ve spent the last three and a half years at this University. I’ve spent many days studying and fretting over tests (including tomorrow) and I’ve churned out more papers than should be legal. You’d think I would be happy, ecstatic even, but I think bittersweet is a better word. When you put your life into something for years, it is hard to see it end. I have no idea what the next chapter of my life is, but I know that it will be even more challenging, and if it’s possible, better than the last.