Lately I have been thinking about what it was like for me when I was still a lowly little college freshmen. I remember walking up the big hill at 8:15 in the morning on my way to my first ever university class. It was English 101 with one of the funniest and most inappropriate professors I've ever had. It smelled like the first day of school - you know what I mean. Brand new backpacks, crispy lined paper, pencil shavings and lattes. The sidewalks and hallways were crowded so that one felt as though they were a salmon trying to swim upstream.
It was awesome.
I didn't feel like I belonged there. At the ripe old age of 17, I felt as though all these people could sense that I was so naive. Fresh meat. Easy to take advantage of. I remember this overwhelming feeling of despair. I had just finished 13 years of public schooling, having been enrolled since the age of five, and I was completely unprepared to spend four more years with piles of never ending homework followed by exams I had no will power to study for.
Making new friends doesn't exactly come easily to me since I'm not really a people person, but I lived with my friends from high school and our hall became really close. They made it easier to bear the homework load and helped me overcome that feeling of failure when I bombed an exam. Or two. Our bonds were so strong that I'm still friends with many of the people I lived with that fateful freshmen year.
But now, here I am, in my senior year of study. It's my last fall semester in Moscow. My life has done a 180 degree flip. I find myself flopping between emotions of impatience to be finished and longing for this to never be over. I am quickly approaching the idea of the "adult" world, and it makes me both nervous and excited although I can't honestly tell you which feeling is more prominent.
I used to spend my nights wishing that I could be anywhere but here, and now I find myself wondering where exactly will I end up once this is all over? College has been a unique experience. I have grown up and grown out and grown in. The future is a scary mistress. She makes you wonder where you will end up and if you will still talk to your friends. She makes you question your decisions and think about what you want out of life. And that frightens me.
Honestly, I don't know what I want in life. I'm in school to be a teacher, and while I love art and I have a passion towards working with others in a creative context, I don't think it's something I want to do for the rest of my life.
The horror stories of those especially wonderful students makes me question whether or not this is the right profession for me. I'm not looking forward to dealing with those tough cases, but I've heard that if you crack them it's the most rewarding experience. And that is kind of exciting. Which I suppose means that I shouldn't really be too worried about this decision, but you know. It goes through my mind in cycles.
But what I really want out of life is just to feel like I've lived it. My dad has classified me as the rebel child. I pretty much just do what I want, when I want, how I want to. My favorite song is "Wild One" by Faith Hill, because when I was little I wanted to be that girl. I have a nose piercing. I want a tattoo someday. I make mistakes. Lots and lots of mistakes. I mean to say, that I am practically a professional mistake maker. I probably deserve some kind of award even for being so fantastic at regretful decision making.
That's not to say I don't make a plethora of good decisions though. Because I am also pretty fantastic at that as well. I just know myself, and I have to get lost a few times before I get it right. But I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though I started out this whole college journey throwing a huge temper tantrum and dragging my little feet through the mud, I'm actually glad I'm here. I'm glad it happened. I'm sad it's coming to an end, and a little part of me is definitely going to miss my college years.
I don't think they are necessarily the best years of my life, but I know they definitely played a heavy hand in defining me as the lovely person I am today. If it weren't for all those bumps in the road along the way, I'd never fully appreciate exactly what it is I have right now.