If you came here expecting to read about how great my life has been over the last four years, now would be a good time to turn the page and find something else to read.
Maybe I shouldn't be so cynical right from the start, but I want to paint the perfect picture. Don't misunderstand me, the great memories of my time at Seton Hall outweigh the bad times by a large margin, but the great times came with a cost.
I write this cathartic epitaph for my college years in the way I feel makes the most sense: Full of honesty and hope. Sometimes things were good. Sometimes things were bad. But things were always worth experiencing.
In the fall of 2008, I came to Seton Hall with an open, eager mind. What I experienced over the next four years would change my outlook on life forever. Each year, I learned new lessons, lessons that allow me to change my way of thinking for the better every day.
It wasn't easy getting to this point where I can now safely say I am happy with where I'm going, but it's the conflict and the constant struggle that makes us stronger.
I used to regret a lot of things about the last four years. There aren't many feelings worse than regret. It's the type of emotion that can eat away at you. It can ruin you. I used to regret not giving 100 percent all the time in the classroom or the fact that I picked the wrong major and had to switch it in my junior year. I used to regret everything.
But not anymore. I've come too far to regret my mistakes. The important things I learned in this stretch of my life, about friendship and happiness among other things, will guide my life. The most important thing to do at this juncture is make the most of what you have.
I wouldn't have been able to make the important changes in my life had it not been for the unyielding love of my parents. Every step of the way, through the successes and the failures, my parents have been there for me with encouragement.
If it were not for my parents, I wouldn't even be at Seton Hall. I originally had my heart set on two other schools, but with the advice of my parents, I visited other universities and it was on my tour of the campus that I chose Seton Hall.
The Hall has been more than just a university to me. It's been my second home. It's the place I learned who I am and where I'm going with my life. After four years of college, I know more about myself than I ever thought I would know. Much like life, college is what you make of it. The only way you really come away with a positive outlook on your college experience is to live every day like it's your last.
If you can take one thing away from my incoherent ramblings, it's this: No matter how many times you fail, and no matter how many mistakes you make, realize that life isn't all that bad. Sometimes you just need to see the light and make the change. And when you do, you will realize that out of every mistake, there is a lesson to be learned.
As Bobby Kennedy once said, "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
John Lopiano is a senior journalism major from Brooklyn, N.Y. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.