Looking back at my four years in college, I can truly say that it was a transformational period of my life. I experienced some of the best moments of my life and moments where I absolutely grew as a person.
These are my favorite moments in my college life. (Madeleine Korn)
I had set the alarm to get up almost two hours before my first class so I could get ready and wear my cutest outfit. I remember feeling so nervous to go to class alone, but then I passed by a few girls in the dorm hallway talking about attending the same class that I had, and I asked to join them, and they said yes.
I loved how everyone was so eager to make new friends. During our first class, the professor introduced the class and reviewed the syllabus. I had been so worried that my classes would be difficult, but hearing the professor speak about the assignments, didn’t seem too bad, and all my nerves disappeared.
This was one of my favorite days in all of college. All my friends and I got ready together, doing our hair and makeup and cutting our T-shirts into cute crop tops. We arrived at the stadium very early to get good seats, and once the game started, it felt like a scene out of a movie — everyone chanting, wearing our school colors, and cheering on our team. It was almost like I was living an event I had looked forward to for years.
The first time I ate alone at the dining hall was terrifying — I was sure that everyone was watching me, thinking I had no friends. I anxiously walked in and timidly grabbed my food as quickly as possible. I had planned to eat soon so no one would see me eating alone. But once I sat down and looked around, I realized everyone was minding their business, and I had nothing to worry about. It felt empowering because I realized that I could eat alone anytime I wanted to and that no one would judge me.
My friends and I would create study groups within our classes. We would all head to the library together, with snacks and coffee to prepare for a long night of test preparation. This doesn’t sound like something that would be fun, but we made it fun by testing each other and taking short breaks to eat and share snacks. We often stayed at the library late — sometimes until midnight, getting as much studying done as possible, and then we would bike back to our house together.
I attended UC Santa Barbara, a coastal university. My friend group and I would sit together and do a potluck-style dinner, sometimes bringing along canvases and paint, while we watched the sunset. It was a fantastic way to connect and wind down after a stressful week. I highly recommend doing sunset nights like this with friends or even alone to relax and enjoy the changing colors of the sky.
Seeing my family again after being gone from home for weeks made me so happy. We went out to eat together, and I showed them around campus and gave them a glimpse of what my life had been like for the past month. It was great being able to actually show them where all my classes were and introduce them to my friends.
I went through a very rough time in my freshman year of college, and many personal things caused my mental health to suffer. One day, I hadn’t gotten any sleep and had been up all night so stressed and worried about the exam I had that day. I went to the class early and explained to the professor some of the things that were going on in my life and how it was affecting my mental health, and that I was unprepared for the exam. And she told me to go home, rest, and take the test in a few days.
It made me feel like she cared about me as a student and clarified that my mental health is the most important thing. I realized that honesty is always the best thing, and many professors are very understanding.
I entered the door and saw my dogs rushing up to me, jumping on my legs, wagging their tails, and so excited that I had finally returned. It almost felt surreal being back home after being away for three months. It was like life had moved on but also stayed so similar.
Some new buildings that were just being started when I had left for college were almost completed. Plus, it was an amazing feeling to see all my high school friends again. We all had exciting things to tell each other about our different experiences at college. I also loved returning to my favorite sushi restaurant and the coffee shop in my hometown.
I had been highly overwhelmed during high school since I was in cheerleading and theater and also worked. While I was a strong student, I had a problem with procrastination, which caused me to end up with some A’s and many B’s, which was still something to be proud of, but I promised myself that once I got to college, I was going to do better with academics.
I remember studying so much and putting academics before anything else because I wanted to achieve this goal. I almost studied too much, but when I got my report card after all my final exam grades had been entered, I was ecstatic to have gotten straight A’s — something that once seemed impossible, and I realized that my hard work paid off.
I had applied to be a part of the student newspaper but had no journalism experience. I researched the student newspaper and learned as much about it as possible to be prepared for the interview. I thought the interview went well, but I was still very anxious. A few days after the interview, I received a call that I had been selected for the role I had applied for. I was so happy and immediately called my mom to tell her the great news.
Of course, graduation was the highlight, a culmination of everything I had achieved and experienced during my four years at college. On graduation day, I felt a massive sense of accomplishment, and I was energized and ready to take on the world!
Overall, college is a time of your life that will be filled with many beautiful and defining moments. Be sure to cherish your college life as much as possible because it goes by quickly. I will always look back on my memories with fondness, as they made me who I am today.
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