A short year ago I was preparing to graduate high school and community college. The school year leading up to my graduations was full of preparation, and I did not have much time to process what was really happening. So many things were going on, and I was more concerned about meeting deadlines and planning a party, on top of trying to leave for my study abroad trip. My time was spent very much so in the moment, and it seemed as though I had tunnel vision to the finish line of high school. Now, a year has gone by since graduating and making one of the major life transitions a young adult makes, I have had time to reflect on a few things.
My high school experience was by far the best I could have imagined for myself. It created so many opportunities I would have never had otherwise. I received a great foundation to build my education on, and because of that, I am a better student. The teachers and administrators at the Middle College cared about our success and our life outside of academics. They truly were our biggest cheerleaders every step of the way. I look back at the relationships that transpired; every student came from different places with different goals, but we all had the drive to make a difference. It sounds so clichéd, but high school was honestly the greatest time of my life. I made friends that I will cherish forever, and the memories are endless.
Not only did I graduate from high school in 2015, I also had the privilege to graduate with my Associate degree as well. Some say community college is not anything like university education, and I will go as far to agree with that statement. I am willing to say it is better. My experience going to my local community college opened even more doors for me. I became involved in campus organizations and had close ties to peers and faculty. Again, the faculty cared and did everything possible to make learning fun and meaningful. The small campus allowed me to know almost every faculty member. I never realized how unique and rare this truly is until I transferred to a university. I got my start at Monroe County Community College, and I would not have it any other way.
So, here I am a year later. My last week of my first year at The University of Toledo is here. Although my transition was relatively easy, I know it would not have been as easy if I had gone to a normal high school and then transferred to a four-year university. I always appreciated my educational experiences, but now I appreciate them even more. After talking to other students at school, I have realized that not everyone received the same education I did. Some are struggling with studying habits, writing skills, and time management. These traits were ingrained in me, and the biggest transition I have encountered is meeting new friends and figuring out where I fit in on campus. And if this is my biggest problem, I would say that is okay. My classes have gone well and the challenges of learning how to be a college student has not been a factor. The college learning curve happened simultaneously with the high school support system in place. Many changes happened all at once, and learning how to adapt became second nature for me. Because of this, I could focus on my studies and stay dedicated and true to my work ethic.
I am still going full steam ahead in my efforts of learning everything I can and experience as many new things as I can. The quote by Dr. Seuss was the theme of my life last year, and I reminded myself of that daily. It pushed me to look beyond obstacles and achieve tasks I never pictured myself reaching. I have big goals to meet, and nothing is going to stop me. My bucket list is bigger than ever, and I do not intend to quit going on adventures until each and every one is crossed off.
Only a fraction of my life has gone by, and I know this is only the beginning of something great for me. The next few years of my twenties are going to be spent earning my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and seeing the world. I have seen spectacular views across Europe, and I would only hope I could see our own country’s sights and other views around the world. At this point, education and traveling means the most to me, so I am going to make the most of this time because I am going somewhere.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2016