Those who have already experienced college will tell you that your college experience will be the most fun four years of your life. However, this common tag line comes with the follow up statement that even though they are the most fun years, they are also the fastest years and the experience will fly by.
“Enjoy Every Second”
I heard these three words a countless number of times from my parents and their friends as I was getting ready to start a college adventure of my own.
Finishing my freshman year of college, the reality of the situation seems surreal. It is mind blowing that close to nine months ago I was unpacking and decorating the dorm room that I am now taking down and boxing up. My first college party- new people, loud music, red cups, instagram posts, and friendly, drunk college students- does not feel long ago. The year happened so fast. As college freshman, we are at a point in our lives when we are starting to decide how we want to live our lives and how we are going to make the most of it. How we face our challenges in college builds character, it helps to make us the people that we are.
The way we play out our lives is a result of our personal decisions; will you go to class, how drunk are you going to get, will you introduce yourself to new people? The experience of not only college but life in general is one hundred percent up to what we make out of it. It differs depending on our outlook on the situation. What we each individually get out of our college experience is a direct result of our actions, efforts and choices throughout these college years.
Throughout my college writing courses, I was always more interested in the material when the subject was something that I could directly relate to. This is because I think our generation, myself included, tends to be self-centered, and so we find it easier to connect to things that have meaning to us. That being said, I am able to find the most connections from the research I personally did and articles I choose to read throughout the two quarters of my freshman year writing class. The most relatable information I found was when researching about college weight gain, the Freshman Fifteen. I think that this is because when personally choosing an essay topic, it makes sense to choose something of personal interest. The conclusions I have drawn from my research relates to the bigger picture of life, not just the topic of weight gain freshman year of college.
Total Sorority Move, a commonly read online blog, presents an article “Ten things you won’t stop doing even though you know they’re bad for you.” Throughout not only college, but the rest of our lives, we will be presented with options and decisions that we have the power to choose. Even though we do things that are bad for our health, such as binge drinking, it is our decision to choose at the time if these choices make us happy or not, and if these choices are worth it. Will the fun factor outweigh the long-term health hazards? If you have the mindset mentality of most college freshman, then yes, keep your life fresh and do it.
In my Freshman Fifteen research essay, I explored the reason why college freshman are gaining weight their freshman year of college. I found that the reason is not just simply unhealthy eating habits, but instead it relates to the bigger picture of life and how we are responsible for choosing and deciding for ourselves how we are going to live our life and, in return how our actions directly influence our outcome. In this past essay, I introduce an idea that “although it is impossible to pass all tests you are presented with, tests serve as challenges, allowing us to change our ways in order to make improvements” (Singer). The corresponds with the idea of personally choosing our happiness and life path.
The “This is Water” speech and video that we watched during a class session immediately provoked self-interest and curiosity. It tied in perfectly to a previous class discussion of the meaning of happiness. My thoughts ideas lined up with those presented in the message of the speech, the underlying theme that we are responsible for our own happiness. I liked this clip so much that I decided to share it on my Facebook account, tagging it that it was worth the nine minutes to watch, in hopes that those who did watch it would be inspired the same way that I was as a reminder to be happy. This is important because I am also a strong believer that our happiness is dependent upon personal perspective. I think that happiness is radiated and can light up a room, making others happy, just as the opposite can also have the same effect. Being positive and happy has a tendency to outweigh negative vibes. Our personal happiness and outlook on life is a result of our personal decisions and helps us to create the path with which our life is going. We are responsible for creating our own happiness. Choosing to be happy gives us more options of how we personally decide to view the world. It is the reality of consciously being aware of not only our surroundings and situations, but also being aware of our personal outlook on life. Has the niceness in our world been deteorating? Are we choosing to bring it back? I think that in the real value of education is experience; college students are learning through experience how to act and react to situations we are faced with, an experience that is worth the price.
This overall theme relates on a larger scale to the topic of this freshman writing course, choice and awareness. It is our knowledge that we are aware but it is whether or not we are choosing “ignorance is bliss” or deciding to do what is more uncommon, and what seems to harder and scarier, confront the unknown and choose how we will act. Unless we do things ourselves, it’s hard to emphasize with others and be aware because we are not entirely sure what one of our peers is experiencing. It’s hard to understand the plight of others when we don’t have a perspective about it. However, we can do our best to be thankful and not judge others.
This class topic of choice and choosing to not judge others relates to another class topic of perspective. Broadening out our perspective is a choice. As a result, we are able to have more empathy for someone because we are more aware.
When I think of the “real world,” life after college, I think routine. I think every day of every month of ever year. This is my first instinctive thought. We think that we are the center and so that’s why we get annoyed when in reality we are not the center of everything. It is hard to step back and look around. The choice is within our power. However, I then decide to change the way that I want to view life after college to include thoughts such as new, experiencing, family, relationships, exciting, job, etc. I am deciding for myself and my happiness to make something out of my life instead of being bored of a routine.
Ashley, Livingston. “Speak Soft.” Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2014.
“Enjoy Every Second.” Enjoy Every Second. N.p., 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 12 June 2014.
Hilton, Pearls. “10 Things You Won’t Stop Doing, Even Though They’re Bad For You.” Total Sorority Move. N.p., May 2014. Web. 12 June 2014.
Koepka, Howard. “THIS IS WATER.” YouTube. YouTube, 30 Oct. 2013. Web. 12 June 2014.