Art by Peau Porotesano
I can summarize my college experience in two words: unmet expectations. I still remember the day I didn’t get the dreaded small envelope, and all was right in the world. As a high school senior, I couldn’t wait to go to the beach every day after class, meet lots of cute boys (I went to an all-girls high school) and go out all the time. I remember meeting tons of people at admitted students events and being so excited to be friends with all of these new faces.
Fast forward to now, and I can count how many times I’ve been to the beach this year on one hand, I’m lightyears away from partaking in “ring by spring,” I usually end up choosing Netflix and sleep over raging my face off, and I still have daily, awkward “Am I on a ‘hi, bye’ basis with this person that I met at NSO?” encounters. Minus the lack of beach visits, I’m OK with it.
These four years were some of the worst years of my life. I’ve gone through emotional and mental distress because of people, classes, life and overcommitment. There were many times I regretted my college choice. I grew tired of the Pepperdine bubble, I failed a class for the first time (*gasp* I’m human and therefore not perfect), I learned what heartbreak actually feels like and fell down the rabbit hole on occasion by letting myself wallow in sadness, stress and negativity.
But these four years have also been the best years of my life. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to be OK with letting go of the reins and just breathe through it because even if it doesn’t feel like it, everything is working out exactly as it should. I’ve had some cool opportunities and built up a pretty nice resume. I fell in love with foreign cities, I figured out what my passions really are and I’ve met some of the most beautiful souls, I’ll keep in my life forever.
Eighteen-year-old me never would have thought my college experience would be like this, and that I’d be OK with it. I may not have gone to school in a cool college town, but I guess Malibu isn’t too shabby. I never thought I’d be graduating without a clue in the world as to what comes next, but isn’t that all the fun? My time here feels unfinished, and I’m happy about that. I don’t want to walk away from these four years without looking back. I want the attachment.
With this (here comes the sappy stuff), thank you to everyone who has been a part of my experience. Even if we’ve only had a small interaction, you have touched my life in some way and helped shape my time here, and for that I am thankful. For everyone whom I’ve shared some of those deeper moments with — I’ll never forget them. I’ll keep the nights out, HAWC runs, birthdays and sleepless nights spent talking, laughing and crying in my heart forever. There is a piece of you in me, and I hope there’s a piece of me in you, too. I love you.
My college experience may have been built on unmet expectations, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Thank you for everything, Pepperdine. So cheers to us, Class of 2015. We made it. In the words of the great Penny Lane, “It’s all happening.”
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