*Imagine me driving behind a U-Haul while you read this, with my college town in the rearview mirror, and something dramatic playing on the radio, preferably from the early 2000s.
Although we got an extra couple of months together, it's finally time to say goodbye. Now that I am actually moving away, I thought that I should reflect/write ab0ut my experience, but what started as a diary entry, turned into a love letter. As the oldest child in my family, all I really knew about college was what I saw in romantic comedy movies. Themed parties, scary professors, and meeting boys in class that would inevitably break your heart. All of those things are true, but I quickly learned that those movies also got a lot of the details wrong (I definitely showed up to a few parties freshman year feeling like Elle Woods at Law School).
I loved college. Not just because of the freedom, or the friends that I made, but because of the person I became. That's not saying I would do everything the exact same way (let's not go overboard now), but I also have no regrets.
From the terrible outfit choices and disgusting liquor taste as a lower classman to the all-nighters studying for geology (you heard that right), all of these experiences taught me life lessons.
It's cliche to say that 'college is about so much more than what you learn in the classroom' but it's so true, and it's the hard lessons that mean the most.
Lessons come in all shapes and sizes. Some are smaller and then there are the bigger ones that hit you like a bus.
From the small lessons, like learning what to do when the air conditioning breaks in your first rented apartment, to the bigger ones, like that people can disappoint you, they are all important. The biggest lesson that I learned in college is that it's okay to not be okay because adulting can be hard.
I look back at Freshman Madi and let's just say she really had some real chutzpah (look it up). I had no fear.
Fast forward to last year as a senior, I felt like an old lady. I was career-oriented (never skipped class), I started dating an amazing guy, and I actually was pulled together?
My freshman year self wouldn't recognize 2020 Madi, but she would also be in awe of what four years can do for a person.
I moved over ten hours away from home, basically on a whim, but I also think it was fate. CofC was the first college I was accepted into on my 18th birthday and it was the last college I toured (sorry mom and dad for the extra dozen schools we visited).
The fact that in four years you can do so much growth quite literally shows you what time can do.
So, Dear College...thank you, next!