It’s funny isn't it, that today our concerns include what will be trivial down the road? A pop quiz today that you've failed doesn’t even make that deep of a dent in your participation grade, which doesn’t really dent your grade, which only mildly affects your GPA. It’s the small things that add up over time that make a true dent. But we tend to get worked up over the small details. The missed question, the careless mistake, the pop quiz—they’re all such tiny details in the grand scheme of our academic game. It’s those little details that are nothing in the moment, but everything in the lifetime.
And that’s what college is. It’s everything and nothing. “Nothing” seems to be that text from a friend checking up on you—a simple, unassuming text—that overarches an entire friendship of deep laughter echoing around the office, the arduous talks that open old wounds but are soothed by the trust emanating between, and the concrete and powerful belief that a person truly cares. “Nothing” seems to be that day where you forgot to do the reading because of such a laborious day before, and find yourself facing a pop quiz to which you have no answers. It’s the profound realization that small assignments can total an important percentage, and that dedication and focus is constantly needed. “Nothing” is what summarizes the college experience. It is what we all will recall down the line. That one moment on Welcome Day where we laughed so hard our ribs ached, or that moment in the dorms when a conversation began in the elevator. It’s that night out with friends, where a simple look conveys an understanding behind syllables.
College is everything. It’s that metaphorical bridge between adolescence and adulthood, because we all come in a little naïve. But our classes, our friendships, our experiences, they all shape us into individuals who are finally more mature than when we entered college. It is everything because it spans that time when we are exposed to diverse and novel viewpoints, forced to challenge our own, and exercise what we believe to be true. It is a glorious bridge of everything that will make us what we will be one day. It is when change is a constant companion, discoveries about oneself and others are imminent, and a person realizes who they are without the shell of naïveté of before.
I have much to love about college. I have found kinship, sisterhood and friends that I am sure to keep for a lifetime. I have been forced to question my beliefs, exercised and cemented some others, and realized that I am much more open than I give myself credit for. I have learned that it’s okay to be vulnerable at times, and that the friends who support you are the best ones of all. I have learned that it’s the small details that seem nothing in the moment that will amount to everything.