And I had the time of my life

This is my last year at Xavier. Seeing those words written out causes a million different emotions to course through my body. A million different memories flow through my mind. A million different faces, each who have touched my life in a deep, impactful way, flash before my eyes.

Entering my fourth and last year at Xavier, as well as my third and last year with this publication, I am consumed by an incredibly cliché emotion. Everything about this moment, about this realization, feels bittersweet.

Saturday, May 12, I will walk across the Cintas stage and enter a new chapter of my life. There are 272 days from the moment I typed this until graduation. There are 6,532 hours for me to write the last part of the college years of my life. It may feel like a forever away, especially when November rolls around and I have five papers, two presentations and eight exams due the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break, but before I know it I’ll be sitting in Cintas next to someone I’ve managed to never meet until that morning.

It’s completely cliché to say this, but it honestly feels like I stepped onto this campus for the first time only a few months ago. That only a few months ago I was able to pack up 18 years of my life in enough boxes to fill the bed of a pick-up truck and the backseat of my late, great ’99 Corolla. But it’s been three years. Three years since I walked into Kuhlman Hall for the first time. Three years since I sat in my first theology classes prepared to hate every second of it, only for it become my favorite class.

My first three years at Xavier have honestly been the most formative and impactful years of my life. Everyone says that the four years you’re in college will be the best four years of your life. Personally, I think that’s wrong, and I prepare to make however many years I have left the best years of my life, but these years are incredibly impactful.

The relationships I have formed, the professional connections I have made and the strength I have gained within myself from the past three years culminate together and make me the person I am in this moment. Looking back, I think of the different choices I have made and wonder how life would be if I chose differently. But as I sit in my bed at 5:30 a.m. staring down a 16-hour work day, I wouldn’t change a single thing that has led me to this moment.

Basically, all I’m trying to say is, as you enter your first year, do not hesitate to be yourself. Do not transform, bend or mold into a person you think you need to be in order to find your place. Pursue your passions. Take a risk. Sign up for that class that has nothing to do with your major but interests you. Take the same class three semesters in a row simply because sitting in a music studio once a week stretching on a yoga mat makes all of your problems disappear. I am, right now, writing this article to give you the cliché advice you’ve heard the past three months.

It’s true, college is where you meet your best friends. It’s the time in your life you exist in a community surrounded by like-minded, close-in-age and ambitious individuals. I challenge you as you enter your first year at Xavier to make decisions that will leave you sitting up at 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday, eight days away from your last first day of undergrad, with a stupid smile on your face and happy tears in your eyes as you come to the sobering realization that this is it. If you can’t do that, I promise you now you did not experience Xavier right.

By: Abrena Rowe ~Opinions & Editorials Editor~