Columns, Opinion

Burke’s Bully Pulpit: Some aspects of life will be out of your control in college

Boston University has a lot to offer — it’s a great place to make friends and it will help shape you as a person. But, the reality is that college isn’t always roses and champagne.

If I told you that going into my senior year I had all aspects of my life figured out, I’d be lying. However, I have grown a lot since my freshman year, and I have learned more about myself than I ever thought possible.

The first thing I’ve realized is that friends are going to come and go faster than you think. That sounds ominous and dark, but it really isn’t, as it has actually been a positive experience for me. It’s a great thing to have friends in all social circles on campus. Sometimes things work out and you stay friends for the duration of your time here, and other times things fade. People often get bogged down by their majors and extracurriculars. This is more normal than it might seem to someone coming to BU who is used to high school cliques and friend groups. I have friends who I don’t see or hear from for long periods of time, but when we do see each other, it is totally normal. Giving people space is a tough but necessary thing to do.

I learned early on that classes were going to be difficult. There’s really no way around that, and I’m sorry to have to say it to you so soon. The bright side is this: the hardest part about class is making it there. Once you’re there and engaged, the learning experience is elevated beyond the level it was in high school. It may be a tired expression, but you really get out of class what you put into it. Currently, my GPA shows that I did not follow the advice I’m trying to give to you, and it is a stain that requires more than a little effort to remove.

Arguably the biggest thing I have learned thus far is the simple fact that some things are just out of your control. You will be put in situations that might make you feel uncomfortable or nervous. Learning from these situations and becoming a better person because of them is what is most important. Friends will do things that your friends from home have never done before, you won’t do well on a few tests and you might need a second to breathe and regroup. This is totally normal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to do this in my first three years on campus. However, I’ve learned that those hard times always seem to pass. Before you know it, you’ll be getting ready to get your diploma and move out of your parents’ house.

I know that this hasn’t been the most uplifting article of all time, but it is real and honest. College is such a fun time, and I have learned so much while here. Even though I live in Massachusetts, I still sometimes got homesick my freshman year. Those homesick feelings for my parents’ house have now turned into homesick feelings to be in my apartment on campus with all of my friends.

Enjoy the time you have at BU because one day, you’re going to look back, and your experiences will be just a bunch of memories that you’re trying really hard to not let go of. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m jealous that you get to experience it for the first time.

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