Thanks to Facebook, I was reminded that this past Wednesday, Aug. 12 was the seven-year anniversary of the day I moved to Brescia University for my freshman year of college.
I suppose I had been subconsciously aware that so much time had passed, but I hadn’t really considered what that meant until I saw the actual words I’d typed in a Facebook post seven years ago (back when a Facebook status was still in the “So-and-so is doing such-and-such” format): “Matthew Lasley is settled into his dorm.”
I was very different back then. I had just turned 18 a month-and-a-half before. The seven-year journey I’ve taken since Aug. 12, 2008 has molded me into a better, more confident version of myself. But it wasn’t always that way.
I can’t recall a time I felt more nervous and afraid than I did on the day I moved to college. That was the first time in my life I had ever truly left home to be “on my own.” I put that phrase in quotation marks because, when you’re living on campus in the dorms, college is sort of like the real world on training wheels. You’re away from home and on your own, but in a supervised setting.
It’s the great transitional period from childhood to adulthood, and, for me, that transition was not an easy one.
I remember lying on my twin-sized bed beneath the lone window in my single, white brick walled dorm room that first day, after my family left for home after helping me move in, and feeling utterly alone. For the first time in my life, I had only myself to rely on to be successful. I had committed to the college experience, and I was petrified of failing.
The amount of work that goes into attaining a college degree is a daunting prospect, as well.
Being a college student is like being a sculptor: You start with this massive block of marble (the classes you must take to graduate), and slowly chip away at it, chisel strike by chisel strike (class by class), until you find the work of art hiding within (graduation). That block of marble intimidated me so much so that my freshman year of college was nearly over before I realized the awesome opportunity that stood before me.
Yes, I worked hard in college—harder than I’d ever worked at anything in my life. But I learned so very much—both inside and outside the classroom about myself and the world around me—that I don’t think I’ll ever fully repay Brescia for the experience (despite paying quite a hefty sum on student loans in the years that followed). And when you’re there, and actively taking part in it, college doesn’t really feel like work. A lot of the time, if you can believe it, you’ll actually enjoy learning.
That’s all part of the transition of which I spoke earlier. College is an opportunity for you to learn who you really are and where you want to go, and also mold yourself into the person you want to be.
So for all my friends and readers in college or preparing for college, make the most of the experience. While you’re there, I know it will feel like it’s dragging on forever, but I can tell you that when it’s over, you’ll wonder where that special time in your life went.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.