Opinion: Choose your own path


by Tessa Lengeling, news editor

College. The best four years of your life! To be honest, I really hope it’s not. I’m 20 years old and have a lot of life ahead of me for these to be the best years of my life. That’s just depressing.

College has been a wonderful experience for me. I have learned a lot about myself and about others as well. Early on I decided to graduate a full year early, after going back and forth with myself and everyone I know. I hesitated for a long time, wondering is this really the right decision for me? I thought to myself, I’m going to miss my friends, I’m going to miss out on experiences, what should I do? At first I was doing it for other people, which is why I was unsure. I wondered, what does Tessa really want without influences from the outside.

I’ve been told over and over by friends and professors that graduating early isn’t a good idea and to take advantage of the college years. When I hear this I think, how have I not taken advantage of the college years? I’ve participated in campus organizations like women’s chorale, PRSSA and Simpson Democrats. I’ve been president of my sorority, I’ve held several internships and work studies on and off campus, I’m traveling abroad this May and I even participated in Theatre Simpson. What more can I do?

It’s my personality to push myself until I can’t go anymore. Several times throughout college I have gotten sick or completely exhausted because I take on too much. That is my own fault, but I was always told to take opportunities and make the most of it all. I did that and now in my third year, I’m burnt out. I was talking to a friend the other day and we both agreed if we were here another year, we would probably go insane. We have put in our time, worked our butts off and now it’s time to get out there and do what we are most passionate about.

Thinking about life after graduation, knowing I’ll be able to apply my passions in life is exciting. I’m still scared beyond belief, but I am so ready. Senioritis is a real thing.

At the beginning of this year I was very scared to graduate. It worried me and I wanted to stay in the Simpson bubble. I’ve matured a lot since freshman year and even since the fall semester this year. Now I am beyond thrilled to join the real world and work. I want to get out there and pursue my dreams. I want to wake up and be excited about going to work every day because I’m doing what I love. Obviously I know I will not get my dream job right after graduation, but even if it takes a couple years, I’m ready to take it on. What will I be doing exactly? I’m really not sure, so people can stop asking. I know I have options and I know it will all fall into place. Of course I’m stressed about finding a job, but I can’t let that deter me from having the best semester yet.

When I came to college I didn’t think I would find my best friends. But as I look back on my Simpson career, I have met a lot of wonderful people. I’ve met a lot of people I’ll be glad to get away from as well, but for the most part I will miss seeing these people every day. I will miss late nights in the Pi Phi house doing homework, discussing and laughing about life at 2 a.m. I now realize I have surrounded myself with exceptional people that inspire me every day. Most of my best friends are at this school. I text them constantly through group messages about burrito cravings or how I need support as I walk into a test. They have been there for me through my worst and best times and I will take that with me wherever I end up.

There are many things I will miss about college, but there are also things I am glad I will be done with. The Simpson bubble can be crippling for people. There is more to life than what happens on this campus, and now that I have realized that, I know I’m ready to graduate. College can be four, three or two years and you can still have an amazing experience. Everyone has a different path and that is okay. No one is going to be the same and no one is going to take the same path in college. I enjoy taking a different path because now I have a head start on making my mark on the world. Get ready class of 2015, we’re almost there!