Too far from the finish line, yet too late to turn back.
Amid the chaos of closing assignments and preparations for final exams that comes with the last week of classes, I have not had time to digest the fact that I will be halfway through my college career. No matter how cliché it sounds, I truly cannot believe the differences from where I was two years ago to where I am today.
Surprisingly, I do remember the first day I arrived on Lehigh’s campus as a timid freshman. It’s pretty sweet and funny to recall how long it took me to find my way back to my room after saying goodbye to my parents outside the freshmen dorm. The buildings were so big, scary and complicated to navigate. As a freshman, I discovered my major, found my squad, became immersed in awesome organizations, and learned the ins and outs of Lehigh. I made a couple of mistakes along the way (like skipping one too many classes or falling up the Dravo stairs), but I also achieved a lot as well. The first year of college will always be a time of growth and fun for students.
The second year of college is a time of growth as well, but not in the momentous spurts that occurred in freshman year. The buildings aren’t so scary anymore, and Lehigh is no longer an unknown world. My squad remains, and that group still makes up my closest friends, but our circle has certainly expanded – for the better. With sophomore year comes the challenge of maturing professionally by seeking internships, diving into more challenging classes, and deciding what your career will look like. For me, sophomore year was the first couple of steps on my journey to planning life after college.
Being in the middle of college is weird.
It’s a place in your life where you feel like you’ve developed so much that you’re not sure how much more you can grow; however, you know there’s a lot more to come in the near future – you just don’t know how much. Am I almost done, or am I just getting started? I can see it two ways: “Wow, I’m halfway through college. Where did the time go?”, or “A lot happened in the past two years. I have two years ahead of me. I still have a long ways to go.”
A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a departing senior. A lot of his friends were staying at Lehigh to get their master’s degrees, but he was one of the few that was actually leaving in order to attend med school. I was talking to him about my conflicting thoughts of being almost done or still having a lot ahead of me. His reply was, “I definitely get that two years sounds like a long time, but, honestly, it really does go by so fast. So enjoy it.”
So during the moment of being in the middle, I guess I’ll take his advice and treasure the memories that have been made and the memories yet to be created.