Coming into college, we are often filled with endless expectations and hopes for what the next four years will entail. It is a combination of anxiety and optimism for what is to come. Your eyes are wide as you approach this entirely new chapter, your brain eager to absorb it all, while your heart yearns for social and creative fulfillment. To put it plainly, it’s an all-encompassing, overwhelming feeling and one I came to know very well. As difficult a task as this is, I am going to attempt to recap the last four years in just four words.
As were most freshmen, I was all-consumed by college life; that newfound independence, the 24/7 slumber party with your new best friends, the parties, the organizations/clubs, the excessive amounts of work and the endless opportunities. I wanted it all, and heck, I was determined to get it –the ‘perfect’ social life, the top GPA and absolutely everything and anything the perfect college experience could offer. As I said, I was optimistic.
As sophomore year rolled around, those freshman year aspirations soon became a reality. I had just switched my major to a field that proved to be my perfect fit. I was beginning to make it happen. Suddenly, getting that 4.0 GPA that I was targeting became second nature, as my studies reflected my natural strengths. I became more involved and sought out leadership opportunities that made me excited for the future I now saw clearly. I started to lean into the friendships that genuinely clicked, and to weed out those relationships that were only meant to be placeholders for people who would become more permanent players in my life. I was coming into my own in ways I never expected.
By the time junior year approached, the trajectory for the remainder of college had been set. I was soaring academically while involved in organizations all across campus and, for the first time, I was able to also say that all-too-corny phrase, ‘I found my bridesmaids.’ College life was finally checking off all of the boxes. I was more comfortable here than I had ever been and began to appreciate a true love for Sacred Heart University. It was at this moment in time that I finally realized how much I was going to miss this place when it was all over.
Cue senior year, the most anticipated year of college, yet also the most bittersweet. I’ll never forget how I felt at the start of this year. One final move-in day, the last first day of classes, my final sorority recruitment, one last President’s Gala, one last college halloweekend, one last homecoming and even this, my last Spectrum article…one last everything.
Sure, there were some firsts, too –the first time at Red’s (yup, we made it), not having to ‘stress-sweat’ wondering if you’d be able to get into the local bars and the spontaneous happy hour trips celebrating those interviews you finally landed. It’s been a whirlwind and one well-deserved.
Finally, everything that we all had worked so hard for and immersed ourselves in these last four years is culminating, yet it kind of seems like it’s coming to a screeching halt. The ‘lasts’ are all that’s left.
As this melancholy feeling sets in, alongside the reality of where I am on the college timeline, I can’t help but reflect on all that Sacred Heart has given me.
Ironically, they say ‘home is where the heart is’ and quite honestly, I didn’t realize all this time that my heart was here at 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield, CT. The four years go by quickly, but the memories will truly last forever. I’ll always call Sacred Heart my home.
Now as I close out this article, I too close out this chapter of my life –one that has meant more
than I can ever express here in just four words. However, I think I’m ready to write this next
chapter using all of the tools these last four years have provided. And as for heading out into the
real world, daunting as it may seem, thanks to Sacred Heart University, I know I am ready