I remember the first time it really hit me. Sophomore year was almost officially over and I had one final left before completely immersing myself in the self-loathing process that is packing up my entire room after living on campus for another year. My mom called me and said something along the lines of “just think about it, you’re almost halfway done with college.”
And so began my mid-college crisis.
The term we so commonly attach to men and women in their 40s and 50s who make frivolous choices seems strangely fitting in this situation. Rather than looking at my life as half over, or half lived, I started looking at my time at Seton Hall that way. Reflecting on the things I had done and avoided and the mistakes I had made along the way, I lost sight of all the opportunities that lay ahead.
I spent the summer fighting between my newfound desire to do everything to make the next two years count and the more practical notion that I need to avoid overextending myself. As I tried to decide the best way to move forward, I realized that there’s so much more to college than just doing things out of a fear of missing out.
As I saw it, a few things were certain: two of my four years on this campus were over, I had missed out on a few opportunities and I hadn’t always made good decisions. But I’ve also learned from my mistakes, pushed myself to continue to pursue new opportunities, and have two whole years left to do as much as I can within reason.
This isn’t an article about making all the right decisions, because I most certainly have not. But instead of getting consumed by fear of missing out and doing things just because I can, I’ve chosen to step back and look objectively at the time I’ve already spent here. Based on this reflection I now know how I want to spend my next two years.
I want to pursue education, make memories with my friends and get involved with things relevant to my major. In order to do this I’m going to try to read for all my classes to soak up the knowledge in their pages, spend as many moments with my friends as I can, and join the appropriate clubs and groups and look for internships to give me practical experience before I enter the real world.
Most importantly, I want to take chances. Whether this comes in the form of a semester abroad or moving off campus or even spending my summer in South Orange rather than Texas, I would like to remember my time at SHU as a time when I was willing to take chances.
So for anyone else having a mid-college crisis, or even for freshmen who are trying to adjust to college life, rather than living with a fear of missing out, try to evaluate why you’re here and what you’re hoping to gain from your years at SHU. No two people are the same, so make the decisions that suit you. Regardless of what year you’re in, there’s still time to do what you want and to make sure you get everything you can out of your college experience.
Samantha Giedris is a junior journalism major from The Woodlands, Texas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.