Living in the Moment, From the Very Beginning

Graduation is one of those things that feels like for better or for worse, it will never come. But in reality, that’s just not the case. While four years may seem like a long time, they have a funny way of flying by before you can notice. 

I somehow thought I was immortal to graduation – or maybe I just didn’t want to accept the fact that one day Carolina would tell me I had to leave and go out into the adult world. Each year passed much faster than the last, but I still felt like I was so far removed from the end. 

It didn’t hit me until the first day of classes of my senior Spring semester. I spent the morning with my roommates (who got emotional at breakfast) but it still didn’t feel like it was genuinely my last first day of class. It doesn’t take a lot to bring me to tears, so I was honestly kind of surprised how emotionless I was that morning. But later that evening, I was riding the bus home from a long day on campus and a wave of emotions came over me. 

Who knows what triggered me, but all of the sudden I entirely lost control. I managed to get off the bus and into my apartment before completely breaking down. Immediately after unlocking my door, I sunk into my roommates room and sobbed – it was finally real, this was the beginning of the end. 

But honestly, I don’t really know if it’s entirely sunk in how soon I have to leave this place that I fall in love with a little more every day. If you’re lucky enough, your college campus will mean more to you than you can put into words. Not only is it your home away from home, it’s where you grew out of that awkward high school stage and into a passionate student who’s driven to do something with their education. It’s where you met your lifelong best friends that always picked you up when you fell down no matter how hard the fall was (@my roommates, the incredible humans pictured on this page). 

College survival tip #6: When they tell you four years will go by in the blink of an eye, believe them. Time only speeds up in college and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. 

I have myself to blame for a large part of the reason it went by so fast. I overbooked myself to the point where I never really stopped and lived in the moment. Instead, I counted down the days until a major event was over and I would finally have free time again. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean I’d change anything or give up any of my amazing experiences that have shaped who I am today, I just maybe would have done it a little better. I would have spent less time stressing over the small details that didn’t matter in the long run and spent more time with all of the things I love about UNC. 

What I’m trying to say is, don’t speed through the week just because you have an exam on Friday. It’s way easier said than done, but stressing yourself out will get you nowhere. Take some time to get milkshakes with your besties or take a walk around your beautiful campus. 

Time is going to pass whether you like it or not, so you might as well enjoy it and make the most of your college years while you have them.

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