0 to 100 / The finish line

As my last semester of school approaches, I cannot help but recount how the past few years I have spent at EC have molded me as a person and shaped my outlook on things. In retrospect, the changes I see are all positive.

When I first started, I was not so sure I would finish. Graduation seemed eons away, like an ungraspable task that could never be accomplished. I could not help but trick myself into believing that obtaining a Bachelor’s degree was a dream and nothing more. Education is not an option in my family, but beyond that I knew it was something I wanted to do for myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could stick to something through the end. At times, however, it seemed impossible.

So many nights I spent sprawled over my laptop, six cups of chai already consumed, hair a mess, hours flying by with each second I blinked. In those moments I wanted nothing more than to call it quits.

Now here I am, just weeks away from being finished for- ever, and the reflection has me pondering the lessons I have learned along the way.

Sometimes, friends are closer than family and can break the barrier of blood. They can prove themselves to be intimate soul connections that feed you positive energy when all you wish to do is sulk. Maybe our best friends — I mean true, genuine friends — are people we connected with in a previous life. I do not leave any possibilities out anymore, another thing that changed about me this year.

I truly believe friendships are the most valuable thing this earth possesses. Without them, I am not sure where I would be right now. My friends push me to be better, tell me I deserve better when I cannot see it myself and force me to look at things from a different perspective when I need to. Good friends are everything. Over the past couple years, I have lost tons, but in return gained a few gems. The switch made all the difference.

And sometimes, your family knows you better than you know yourself. My dad is forty-six years older than I am, so I guess he knows a little bit more about life than I do. All the times I doubted the advice he gave me, I ended up regretting it (though most of the time I never admitted it.) I carry too much pride still. But I am learning.

My point is this: family (in most cases) are the people who look out for your best interests at heart. They want my well being with nothing in return. They go to the ends of the universe for me even when I wish to fight my own battles and strive for independence. They are annoying as all hell, and they screw me up a little, but I have learned that all their pushing is only to force me to do better.

And if I have learned anything about myself, it is that I am ultimately more intelligent, caring and stronger-willed than I used to give myself credit for. The good in me outweighs the bad, and if I come to blows with my personal problems, I know now that I am strong enough to overcome them. Too many times I was scared about what lay ahead for me, and too many times I thought my issues would swallow me whole. But every single time I have proven myself wrong. And I am so glad.

College is somewhat of an other worldly experience. It is different for every person but certain elements stay the same: you hate yourself, you cannot remember the last time you got decent shut-eye, you live in the library and you meet interesting people you are certain you will not forget.

So I leave with this: gratefulness for the two years I was able to spend on this campus, growing and nurturing and flowering my mind so that it is ready for the next phase of my life, the friends I made along the way and the work that forced me to put all my effort and energy into what I believe matters.

The details of the rest of my life are insignificant. They do not matter. I will make it up as I go. All I can do is live in the moment and know that each one is a blessing from the universe.