Never again will I wake up and prepare for the first day of the semester! It’s an odd feeling. In just a few months, I will wrap up my undergraduate career with a degree in communication studies (and minors in PR and English Lit!). Ideally, I’ll also have a job in an agency in the Milwaukee area. I will then move to what I hope will be Shorewood and start making money and paying off the $80,000 of debt that I gathered during five years of higher education.
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been five years since I graduated from high school. As cliché as it is, it truly feels like just a few months ago I was an eager 17-year-old moving into the dorms at UW-Madison. I remember how excited I felt that day—thrilled at all the possibilities the next few years held for me. Ever since I was a young girl, I knew I wanted to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Fortunately for me, I got accepted—and not only did I get accepted, a large chunk of my friends from varying cliques (West Allis, Figure Skating, Port Washington, etc…) had also gotten accepted. Itching to leave the nest and experience a new town and a new-found sense of freedom, it seemed like that move-in day could not come soon enough.
Little did I know, most of the things I learned in college had nothing to do with the classes I took. In fact, most of the things I learned in college were from my peers. College students are fascinating case studies. Every person I ran into taught me something new about human interaction. When I took the required Philosophy courses at Marquette, I realized I already knew what the TA was teaching us. Each type of philosophical ideal matched a person (or the decisions of a person) I met at UW. Stoicism, Feminism, Hedonism, Utilitarianism, Nihilism, Existentialism, and more. I loved talking to people, whether at parties, over lunch, during study sessions, at work, while watching TV…whatever. Picking their brains and getting to know them—why they think and behave the way they do—and hearing them communicate about themselves and their circumstances, was more fascinating and revealing than any lecture I attended. I wish there was a way to explain it in a few words on a resume. In spite of my inability to use my ever-increasing knowledge of behavioral patterns/types as a resume enhancer, I absolutely do not regret investing so much time honing my abilities in that area. In fact, I truly do not regret anything I’ve done in college. Each of my experiences taught me something, whether it was good or bad.
I had to laugh a little at how nostalgic I was feeling as I wrapped up my last first day (and first week) of this chapter in my life. Graduation is months away, yet I already feel like my “college experience” has ended. Perhaps it’s because nothing seems new anymore. Perhaps it’s because I have to spend this time focusing on the future, as opposed to the present. Perhaps it’s because so many of my friends are getting married/engaged and getting “real” jobs. Whatever the case may be, I decided to go through and reflect on all of the old photos I have from the last 4.5 years and share some of my favorites. Oh, college. What a crazy time you’ve been.