The way that time passes quite honestly astonishes me.
We grow up as adolescents desperately yearning for the future, just waiting to be a year older than the last. Yet, the older we get, the more we wish to turn back the clock and return to what once was.
I still vividly remember moving into my freshman year dorm. I remember attending my first “big” lecture and my first “real” college party. I remember all of it, all of the little moments that made my first year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison so special.
I also remember the not-so-good feelings: feeling anxious about my first in-person midterm, mustering up the courage to talk to others in my discussion section or coming to terms with my freshman year ending because of some new disease sweeping the nation.
In those moments, I desperately wished time would pass more quickly. All I wanted was to move onto the next hour, the next day, the next month. Yet, as soon as those moments were over, I realized just how much I wanted them back. It is only after an experience has passed that we look beyond the hardships. Eating alone gained me confidence. Stressing for an exam rewarded me with a good grade. Inviting that girl in my hall to lunch granted me a best friend.
I am just starting to understand this all now, as a rising senior here at UW. I am a senior. Wow — that feels strange to say. Despite COVID-19 snatching away a year and a half of my time here, I am thankful to say that the past three years have been kind to me. I am still incredibly close to my freshman year friends, and I only continue to meet new ones. I’ve gotten to join some of the best clubs on campus, and I’ve racked up over six internships. I’ve attended some wild Badger games and tried some of the best food in Madison.
For my final year here, I don’t want to worry about the minor details. I just want to enjoy it. I want to enjoy staying out late, waking up early, attending my lectures and simply watching a sunset at Memorial Union.
Whether you are a rising freshman, senior or anything in-between, I urge you to do the same. Don’t wish it away. Embrace every struggle, every victory and every ‘Jump Around’ in Camp Randall you can get.
Because one day, there won’t be a “first” time for something — there will be a last