Oh The Places We’ll Go

Everyone tells you how quickly four years will go by, but you never quite seem to believe it during those years. You’re wishing Monday was the weekend, you’re cramming for exams and procrastinating tedious assignments, all while wishing there were more hours in a day to get it all done. Every now and then, we think to ourselves, “When is this going to be over?!” Then, suddenly, it is. Those “going out ‘fits” turn into a cap and gown, and the hundreds of papers and assignments manifest into a degree. Instead of walking across campus, you’re walking across the stage, and soon, instead of going to class, you’ll go to a job. By then you’ve realized how right everyone was who told you how quickly the years go by. In all that time, I’ve learned so much about myself, my major, and the world, and yet, I can’t help but think I still have so much to learn. College taught me countless things about business management, economics, marketing, and, yes, the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, but these four years have also taught me three valuable lessons that I’ll take with me for life as I inevitably forget the many bookish things I learned.

First, I’ve learned never to stop learning. Examine the world around you, take in what people tell you, and question what you see and hear. All these practices deepen our experiences in life and help us make the choices we were meant to make. Some of those choices might be wrong, but that’s okay, too. In fact, it’s great. If college taught me anything, it’s that the mistakes we make are the best learning opportunities we get. Along with this, remember to try new things, learn new things, stop trying those things, and try other things, too. College puts us in the unique situation of forcing us to try new things, but it can be easy to lose this practice outside of this setting. It’s vital that we don’t fall into a routine or forget to adopt the occasional “new thing.” Doing so not only helps you learn about something new but, more importantly, something about yourself. Maybe the next thing you try becomes a career, a passion, or a million-dollar idea.

A motto I’ve carried with me for a long time was reinforced in college, and I’ll reiterate as my second lesson, “Don’t take it too seriously.” What is “it?” “It” is whatever you’d like it to be. Don’t take that C you got sophomore year too seriously. Don’t take that situationship that ended horribly too seriously. Don’t take that bad interview too seriously. These little mishaps and mistakes happen to all of us, and often, we become better people because of them. Remember to laugh about these parts of our past and learn from them as well. Knowing that at the end of the day, everything will work out is half the battle. Making sure we learn from those bumps is the other half.

Lastly, is a lesson we all learn far too late in life: savor time. If my experience at Sacred Heart taught me anything, it’s that we do not have as much time as we’d like to think. So, take in every sunny moment you spend with friends. Remember their laughs, the late-night conversations, the Main St. Creamery runs, and everything else. Remember to look back often on the good memories we all made at SHU. Open that camera roll, and take five minutes to remember faces, moments, and places. Remember that the places we’ll go will be just as great, but never forget the places we’ve been.

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