Homestretch

In about one month I will be taking my final exams to conclude my first year of college. My first year of college has flown by. Sometimes the weeks feel like they drag on forever, but other times I think it’s Wednesday but it’s Friday. I only have a few weeks left of this semester living with my friends and seeing them everyday. Although I’m looking forward to summer and being with my family and old friends, I am really going to miss my life at college for those three or four months. When we know the end of something is in sight, how can we truly enjoy it?

I hope to fill the end of my freshman year of college with many good memories with the new people I have met. I hope to continue to perform well academically. I want to finish this year on a high note. I will obviously have to find a balance between these aspects of my life, but I am confident that the end of this semester will be memorable. Thinking back on my first two semesters, I feel nostalgic. I think back on high school or other events in the distant with nostalgia. Nostalgia usually brings positive feelings, but sometimes it comes along with some sadness. We naturally can miss people or times in our lives when things seemed to go the way we wanted them to, but we should not let ourselves get hung up on things in the past.

Being hung up on the past prohibits us from moving forward through life. I believe that staying in the past when you should be moving on is settling. We are capable of so much more than what our pasts hold. How can we form new memories? Make new experiences? Meet new people? I will admit that I had a bit of a difficult time with the notion of moving on when I first arrived at college. I wanted to be with my friends I have had since elementary school. I wanted to be in a familiar place. I loved thinking back on my favorite high school memories, such as our senior trip to Disney World, proms, football games, and even just hanging out on weekends with friends.

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.”

Ernie Harwell

Of course I can still look back on these positively, but I needed to get out of my funk. These events were all in the past, and I couldn’t relive these memories. I had to look forward to the new opportunities I would have in the coming years. Once I was able to befriend many wonderful people and began to get involved, I felt much more comfortable moving on from my past. When we dwell on the past, we sabotage our futures. If you are only concerned with things that have happened, you will probably miss the numerous opportunities that come your way.

Being in the homestretch can be scary. Something we care about it coming to an end, and soon we will have to put ourselves in new situations with new people. As my first year comes to a close, I am thankful for the people I have met and the opportunities I have had. Instead of becoming hung up on the past, I look forward to the future. My sophomore year will hold many more experiences. I will have to declare my major, start new classes, make more friends, and hopefully find an meaningful internship for the following summer.

We can be happier if we understand that events, people, and experiences come and go with time. Not knowing what may happen next can deter us from moving on, but we will ultimately be happier in life if we make the conscious choice to move forward. The future is very much unknown, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. There was a reason that I was hung up on the past, and there was a reason I discovered that I needed to move on. With each homestretch you come across, look forward to the end because there is something even greater waiting for you in the future.

Embrace the finish lines and milestones. You never know where they might take you.

Monica

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