Kirstin is a recent graduate from the College of the Holy Cross, holding a BA in Sociology with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies. She currently works as a Recruiting Coordinator at Iron Mountain in Boston, Massachusetts. Her interests outside of work include soccer, dance, health/ nutrition, and fashion. Follow her on Instagram: klemay13.
I just graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in May, and what is the one thing that I wish I could do? I wish I were back on campus, going to class just one more time so that I could take a step back and appreciate how lucky I was. My advice to you, whether you’re just starting college or are on your final year is to take a moment, once a day if you’re able to, to appreciate your life and recognize how special college is. In all honesty, there is not time in your life as unique as the four years you spend in college. You come into school not knowing what to expect, and leave with a plethora of wisdom that prepares you for the “real world.” The friends that you will meet, or already have met, at school are going to be different than any other friends that you might have or will have—you spend almost every waking moment with them, eating, sleeping, going to the gym, going out, etc. The experiences that you go through in college will create very strong bonds between you and your friends, which is why many people’s friends from college are their lifelong friends. I can tell you from my own personal experience that my group of friends from Holy Cross are going to be my friends forever—not only because we went through so much together at school, but because I know I will never be able to form a bond that genuine with anyone else. That being said, you’ll learn just as much about yourself as you will about other people while you’re in college. You may think you have a strong idea of who you are when you enter college, but trust me, that will change..even if it’s just the slightest bit. Coming into freshman year, I thought I knew exactly who I was. However, looking back on my experience, I’m a completely different person than I was four years ago—more confident, independent, and mature. Now, I’m not saying you need to grow up and be mature as soon as you get to college! You really just need to have fun and find a group of friends who share similar values to your own, and the maturity, confidence, and independence will come naturally. Lastly, try not to get too stressed out with regard to schoolwork. You may have a lot on your plate, but don’t let that overwhelm you! One thing that I learned while I was at school is that all the work gets done eventually. Don’t let the stress of work turn a good day into a bad day because in the big picture of things, you’re more likely to remember the fun you had with your friends over the couple of stressful days of homework that you may have. Now, if some of this doesn’t make sense to you now, don’t worry, it will in a few years :). So what am I leaving you with? Everyone’s college experiences are individual and unique, no two college experiences are ever the same. What I encourage you to do is to recognize how special your own college experience is, and to try not to take it for granted. It’s very easy to get caught up in all of the commotion of college life, and I’m not saying that won’t happen sometimes. But if you consciously appreciate the friends you make, the fact that you’re even enrolled in college (a privilege that a lot of people don’t have), or even something as simple as the beauty of your college’s campus, you will feel extremely rewarded and most importantly, HAPPY. When I think about all of these college memories while I’m at work or doing the dishes at my new apartment, I always catch myself smiling–trust me, you will too eventually.