I think it’s a fair statement to say that entering senior year brings on a flurry of emotions. Confusion, excitement, fear, the desire for change, sentimentality and the list goes on. As someone who is very introspective by nature, entering my senior year has made me reflect on how much I’ve changed since entering college.

This whole experience has felt like a factory assembly line that took me down a conveyor belt and molding, polishing, and shaving me into a person I didn’t know I could be. It has taken out my hard drive and tweaked my perceptions of the world, the people around me and myself. 

I’ve changed more these past years than I ever thought, and I feel so grateful to have the privilege and opportunity of college as a place to explore, grow and learn. College is more than the books you read and the classes you take. It’s about the people you meet, the perspectives you learn from them, how you choose to spend your time and what ideas you choose to adopt.

I have learned what kind of person I want to be in this world, what I value, how to handle situations, how to cohabitate with others and how to listen to other perspectives. 

We as humans are always in a constant flux of growing and learning, but for many, college is the first time they can do that on their own, away from parental influences and outside voices. It’s an opportunity to find yourself without a looming shadow behind you. I have come to love who I am, and the people I choose to surround myself with, and I can’t wait to absorb and take advantage of all the opportunities of my last year. 

Despite that, I also have a lot of apprehensions. I’m uncertain what my life will look like after graduation and what it will mean having to leave my comfortable bubble and established friendships. The idea of losing something beautiful is scary, but I try to think about life before college.

I never knew what this experience would hold for me either. I didn’t know my random freshman year roommates would become my best friends. I didn’t know I would memorize every word to track four of the Backstreet Boys because it’s the only CD that works in my roommate’s car. I didn’t know the joy of my Sundays would come from a kickball league I started with my friends. 

Before entering college, I had no idea what my life would look like and as I approach the end, I again am in this state of flux where I don’t know what’s next. It’s scary, but it’s exciting to know that there’s going to be something different for me. I can channel the passions I have developed over the past years into an opportunity to mold myself further into who I want to be and who I don’t yet know I can become.

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