In August I started my final year of school. Yes, I am a college senior that graduates in May 2017. Please cue the applause somewhere, because seriously, I have worked so hard to get here.
As my senior year commenced, I looked around at the incoming freshmen, who were simultaneously excited and terrified, wondering if they have what it takes to succeed or if college will swallow them whole. So when I look back at where I started with my accomplishments, it turns out maybe I was just like them. And I wish I could tell each and every one of them that they will be just fine.
I wish I could tell that same version of me I will be just fine.
Freshman year I was five minutes early to every class and thought an 8 a.m. class was a “late” class time. My hair was usually in a bun, and I did my homework the day I after I got it because, like every other assignment, it was written in my planner. Worst of all: I was so stressed I couldn’t sleep most nights.
Sophomore year rolled around, and I wore leggings every day. I’m not exaggerating for good measure. I guess I just thought that was acceptable at the time. The pressure to succeed continued to be a weight on my shoulders.
My junior year I started getting to class a little late sometimes, but it wasn’t a habit. I was still punctual. I grew out of the lazy leggings thing. I even got a part-time job in the field of my future career. I let most of my homework slide until the weekend, and my planner wasn’t as used as it should have been. I started to relax because I felt like I finally had my bearing in this stage of my life.
Today, if I have a class at 9 a.m. I am cursing the professor for ruining my life. It is a daily struggle to be on time. I do my homework the night before it is due no matter when it was assigned. My planner is just a decorative piece for my bag, but I keep buying one because “I am gonna get serious about planning on Monday.” My fashion is basically the best it has ever been, though. So that in and of itself is a win for this year.
More importantly, I no longer sweat the small stuff. I am still in college. I am doing something many have been too scared to do. I am going to graduate.
The only thing that remains of freshman Andi is the bun. I mean I am already late to class; I can’t do my hair too. And even though it may seem like senior Andi doesn’t care, she does. I continue to work hard, and I will graduate with honors. I just realized I didn’t need to kill myself getting there.
I thought I needed to do perfectly at the start of my college career. That was a completely ridiculous notion. Freshman Andi was naïve. I am still going to finish strong, even if I don’t stick to a rigid schedule.
Out of the many lessons I learned in each class, perhaps the most pertinent for my future is that you can’t meticulously structure every aspect of your life. It laughs at every plan you make, anyway.