By Tina Kasin
“Growing up is a simple equation that can’t be solved without new impulses and experiences,” a wise young woman that I used to work with told me. That line has been in the back of my mind ever since she said that to me. We were talking about how I was about to start college.
It’s like when you’re going on a vacation, but you don’t know how much fun you’ll have until you’re back home and finally have the time to reflect. You grow when you reflect. Or, for all of you gym rats out there, you could compare it to how your muscles don’t grow until you let them rest. I’m a graduating senior and that is exactly how I’m feeling at the moment. I don’t think I’m going to be able to comprehend how much I have grown since I started college in 2011 until I have graduated. I started as a young, Norwegian 19-year-old, and now I feel like an old, Americanized 22-year-old.
I applied without consulting my inner doubt. I didn’t experience that doubt until I got here, met my first roommate, and saw the dorms for the first time. “What have I done?” I thought, as I felt my stomach twisting and untwisting. I felt young and alone, but at the same time those emotions were conflicting with how excited I was to get this whole experience started. My thoughts and feelings were out of control, and it took a while before I tamed my restless mind.
Now, three years later, I can’t help but feeling like the time has flown by, like someone just pulled a carpet underneath my feet. So, have I grown? Well, I’m still restless, and I am certainly more tired of school than I have ever been. I am ready to be done with homework, and I am ready to not be graded on everything. That is honestly more anxiety-causing than rewarding. I am ready to start the next “era” of the life of Tina. But regardless of these senioritis-like emotions, it turned out to be the wisest decision I have ever made. To go to school overseas, that is. I have had more fun than I could ever imagine having. I have made an endless amount of friends and memories that will always stay with me. I have faced challenges that, indeed, have helped me grow into a better person. And as cliché as this all may sound, it is as true as how chocolate is unhealthy but delicious. Just like life.
So, to all of you doubting freshmen, sophomores, and juniors out there; it will get better. You will survive and you will definitely appreciate your college experience more than anything else. But if it turns out that you didn’t enjoy it, well, then there’s always life after school!