With the end of another semester—and for us seniors, our college careers— drawing near, it’s important to cherish every moment while simultaneously coming to terms with the fact that college is temporary.
My older brother offered me a piece of advice about college in the form of a metaphor the summer before my freshman year that students anywhere will benefit from.
He compared the time one spends in college to that of a beautiful butterfly landing in your hand. If you try to grab onto it, you’ll crush it, and the moment will be ruined. All you can do is enjoy it while it’s there. And when it does fly away, it’s best to remember how beautiful of a time it was while it was at your fingertips.
At the time, I thought it was kind of corny, which it certainly is. But I’ve since realized there’s a valuable message conveyed in his comparison, and that’s to make the most of college and be ready to move on when graduation time comes—reminiscing on the college years without having feelings of regret.
Sure, it’s a tad cliché, but I’ve yet to meet a college student, dropout or graduate who doesn’t think that college “flies by.” The exact reason why is anyone’s guess. It’s probably got something to do with the notion that our perception of time changes as we get older, but I’m sure the new freedoms, friendships and experiences have something to do with it, too.
I’ll confidently assert that the last three years I’ve spent at UNH have proven to be the best of my life. I’ve made and lost friends. I’ve learned about my strengths, and more importantly my weaknesses. I’ve laughed, and, admittedly, I’ve cried. I’ve witnessed both acts of extreme kindness and shocking cruelty. I’m not the person I was when I moved into Christensen 623 my freshman year, and for that I couldn’t be happier.
It is with the same confidence I’ll also assert that I’m not the only one who feels that way. For those who have had a similar experience to the one I’ve been fortunate enough to have, I’m glad you can relate.
Regardless, it’s important to soak in all that college has to offer. Take classes that you’re passionate about. More importantly, go to those classes. I regret every class I have missed going all the way back to finite math in the fall of 2012. When I wasn’t there, I was missing out on a chance to learn something new, even though I didn’t care about the probability of drawing an ace from a deck of cards. I will never get the classes I missed back.
Of course there’s more to the holistic college experience than merely attending classes, and when it comes to extracurricular and social activities, make the most of those, too.
I feel as though I’m bordering on Drake-like logic when I write that you only go to college once, but there’s value in that.
I implore everyone, especially seniors, to take a minute and reflect on your college experience thus far. Is there anything you wish you could experience, learn or say that you haven’t yet?
If so, you should. Otherwise, you might end up crushing the butterfly when you start to sense the end drawing in, and that’s something I’m certain you’ll regret.
Happy Holidays, Wildcats!