Memoirs of a College First Year #5

I can’t really say I’m a first year anymore for much longer. I shouldn’t really say that now, since I’ve already been to community college before this, but it’s the easiest explanation as mentioned before. My final grades are in, grades I am not exactly proud of, but they’re in. I passed everything at least. This is more of a reflection post, I suppose, since I can mostly only write of what I have learned seeing as I am now at home for the summer hoping and praying for a job. Too many false hopes already.

I’ve changed over this year. I guess being away from the town you’ve been in for decades does that to someone, meeting new friends helps, too. I’m still a hopeless romantic who would much rather build castles in the sky, living in them endlessly, but I am still aware of the real world and the difficulties there. But that doesn’t stop me from hoping and dreaming. It doesn’t stop me from thinking of fantastical things every second of every day, even if I know those imaginings are unreachable or, at the very least, near impossible to grab without a fight. Even with the similarities to how I have been, I know I’ve grown a bit. I’ve accepted a few things about myself, mostly emotion-wise. I’ve changed some plans for my career path, mostly in the way of back up plans. None of my dreams have changed, none of my wants have changed, but I’m more…out of my shell i guess you could say. I want to say that I’m more like I used to be, since god knows I’m still getting over things from when I was little and fresh faced, But I know that’s more or less impossible, since that ‘used to be’ was when I was in kindergarten. Ah, the easy years. Nap times that I hated but would love now, nice people, nice teachers… So I can’t exactly be like I used to be, but I think I’m getting closer to how much more outgoing I had been. Hard to believe maybe, but I used to be less shy. Shyness for me is more of a learned trait.

Trying to think of what I have learned is definitely harder than I thought. But the funny thing is, the fact that I haven’t learned anything is probably good. I like to think that means that I am about as ‘grown’ as I’ll get. But I’ve had to deal with new problems. Not of my own, since my problems, as they are, have existed since before I went away to my four-year college. But I’ve had to help other people, my group of friends, with their’s. Some have been similar to other issues that have cropped up in the past, while others have been completely new. I suppose that’s a bit of what I’ve learned, new ways to deal with different things that people go through.

Other than being a bit more outgoing and what I count as socially brave, I think I’ve stayed the same. My friends have told me that I am more out of my shell, as I mentioned, than when they first met me, but that’s about it. Perhaps I am a bit more confident about my looks. I still think I’m average, but I also think I’m a pretty average. So that’s an improvement. Realizing I have a slender hourglass figure helped there, too. But I’m not sure I can count coming out of my shell as truly changing, since that is really just me showing more of how I am. It’s not me being different, only me being…more me.

So I’m going to keep building my castles in the sky, even if my pessimism will make reaching them difficult. The castles with all their fantasies will stay and they’ll wait for me. At least most of them will wait. For the ones that won’t wait, I’m still working on trying to make them happen. I know some won’t happen, and that breaks my heart, but I don’t plan to give up so easily. I might cry a little in the process of doing what I can, I might ache more often than I would like to, but I’m going to hope. I’ll hope until there’s no reason to hope any more.

You know, maybe clinging to hope is something I’ve learned. I used to see no point in hoping, no point in thinking things will go how I would like them to. I would dismiss idle fantasies until there was a lot of things pointing to it happening. Now…now my fantasies are stronger. Now my hopeless romanticism gets its own cloud castle. This is good in its own way. It might hurt when they crash down, but it’s good for now.

I just hope the coming years are just as helpful as this has been. I hope to keep the friends I have made, see them go where they wish to go, and I hope to propel myself forward as well. I like to think sticking to this whole college thing will be worth it someday. Both for my career and for me personally. It already has been.

What I want to say to all those who are going back to college, going to a four-year institution for the first time, or the high school seniors starting college next school year: this may be over said, but college is more than just for academics. Enjoy what you can learn from the others around you, enjoy what you can learn about yourself. Enjoy the fact that you will grow, no matter how old you are, you will. In some way, you will grow and become a, hopefully, better person. Even though student debt is on the rise in America, it is worth it. I am hesitant to say that only because I hate the idea of owing money, but it is worth it if you can afford it somehow. If you can afford it, do it. For your career and for yourself.


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