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the End of an Era

May 5, 2009

I’m reflecting back on my freshman year when I blogged about what I had learned after my first year away from home.  

I quote:  “Things I’ve learned in my first year of college…

Some things never change like…
-I’m a perfectionist. About everything
-My mom’s food will always be the best food
-I will still get mad about stupid little things that shouldn’t matter, and don’t to others…but do to me
-I will still love to drive my car
-I hate exercising
-I’m still just as crazy
-my faith
-I get just as stressed out as before
-my school spirit (GO ORANGE!!)

…but some things do change

-like people won’t keep contact like I thought they would…
-like I can get over a B, yes I’ve learned to accept it…
-like people, best friends, acquaintences, new friends, parents….
-like my acceptance of new situations and people…
-interests, majors?…
-hair length…
-body size (some parts have gotten bigger, others smaller…lol…)
-like my new interests and LOVE for basketball
-my tolerance for stress
-like I don’t miss home like I thought I would

Overall, I’ve learned that…
-It’s good to accept different cultures, diversity is a good thing
-Money isn’t the most important thing
-Education is more important than the grade
-The people that will be there for you in your worst moments are your true friends
-I need to accept that people change, including myself. Best friends will find new best friends, some won’t be as nice as before, some will be more nice, and some won’t change at all…
-I would like working in the city, but not living there. 
-I’m happy with my decision to go to Syracuse. The days and months of research were totally worth it.
-your parents will always be there for you, no matter how angry you get at them for bugging you about calling once a month
-some things that you learn in high school are completely useless, while others that you never thought you were use again (like facts from AP GOV) are really helpful in writing papers
-Community bathrooms aren’t that bad….even the showers
-You can never be completely prepared for college…especially the social atmosphere
-College work isn’t as hard as some make it out to be. It really isn’t.
-The people who will accept you for who you are should be the most important people <3
-Crap happens. The faster you get over it, the better.
-Love is all you need…..( God, duh!)
-I need to trust God way more….I definitely don’t give Him enough credit sometimes
-I’m glad I’ve made mistakes, b/c I can learn from them
-Sometimes it’s not sUch a bad thing to not be yourself for awhile; you’ll value your personality way more once you realize who you truly are

Thanks to everyone who has supported me in the good and bad…and even to those who haven’t….Freshman year wasn’t half bad.”


And now I’m a SENIOR.  Actually, I will be an alum in 4 days.  Insane.

Here is what I’ve learned in college.

-You don’t actually learn too much in college…in terms of required classes.  They are made of a bunch of facts that are crammed before exams that are forgotten two days after school is out.

-To contradict what I just said, I did learn a lot in my photo classes.  I’ve grown tremendously as a photographer, editor, audio collector, multimedia producer, web designer…but probably because that is what I came to school to do.  I think your undergraduate degree is mostly for learning how to THINK for yourself & learning how to be INDEPENDENT.

-I’ve learned how to live on my own (flashback to London, LA, our rickety old house in Syracuse)…cooking, cleaning (well, sometimes), surviving.

-I’ve learned that I have no control over anything.   It is all GOD.  Always.  No matter how hard I try to change this fact, it always remains.  I’ve just learned to accept it.

-I’ve learned that I need to make time for ME because otherwise I get grouchy & sick.  My time for reflection, exercise, sleep, cooking often was overridden by something else planned.

-I can live on very few hours of sleep.  My college career has consisted of me going to bed around 2, and waking up around 8ish…6-7 hours of sleep=perfect happiness in my book (contrary to what my parents believe)

-I’ve learned that grades aren’t everything (duh)(this comes from the person who is attempting to accept the fact that she rejected the invitation to Phi Beta Kappa.  oops).  But really, it took me until junior year to figure this out.  It is all about what you LEARN in class, and utilizing the knowledge of your professors to get everything out of your education.  

-In fact, I wish I had formed relationships & networked much earlier in my college career.  I’m learning…and hopefully it isn’t too late.

-Don’t take classes because they are easy.  I regret not taking anthropology or religion classes because they were rated difficult.  

-Take advantage of EVERYTHING at a University.  All of the clubs, the entertainment, the free things, the athletics.  I don’t feel like I really knew what SU had to offer until my senior year.  

-Alcohol should never be the focus of fun.  I know people will disagree with me, but it has never been a necessity in my life, and I am happy.  I actually miss high school “get togethers” where alcohol didn’t have to be present for it to be considered “fun.”  I’ve honestly enjoyed the times where I sat with friends to watch a movie or eat Insomnia cookies more than going to the bar.  Seriously.

-Insomnia cookies are the best thing on earth.  

-At times I was disgruntled that I joined too many organizations and clubs…too many commitments…not enough free time.  But, I look back know, and I have no regrets.  I went out and tried new things and hopefully made a difference in some people’s lives.  And, I made a ton of amazing friends in the process.  

-Study abroad was one of the best experiences of my life.  In fact, it was life-changing.  I am now heading to Africa, and hopefully Uruguay in the fall because I fell in love with traveling & experiencing culture.  I don’t care what people say…but vacation is not anywhere near the same as living in a different part of the world for more than 2 weeks.

-I’ve learned what love feels like (on more than one occasion), I’ve learned heartbreak (on several), and I’ve been single.  They’ve all been meaningful to my growth, and I am thankful for the experiences.  If there is one thing I can pull from those relationships, it would be to be with the one that makes you happy. Relationships will never be perfect, but don’t try to force happiness out of commitment.  Been there.  Done that.  I can tell you that it is worth the wait to find someone that you get along with and that makes you happy consistently.

-PLAY!!  I tend to take life too seriously, and often save more time for work than play.  I wish those nights that I had stayed home to relax or write a paper had been spent with friends instead.  You can always work, but your college experience is only 4 years (on average), and GEEZ it flies by so fast.

-ENJOY your passions.  Photography used to be a hobby, and now it is a career.  But that is more of an inspiration to PLAY and experiment and ENJOY what I do full-time.  I need to start making more time to just enjoy art.

-You will fail at some point.  Perfection is impossible.  I’ve definitely failed (and I don’t mean classes) in relationships, in friendships, in my own motivation, in my faith.  I’ve learned that, while it is easy to mope, it is better to get over yourself and move on.  

-Be yourself.  If people don’t like YOU, then don’t change to be their friend.

-The friends I’ve made over the past four years have been some of the biggest inspirations to my life–from being the biggest basketball fans, to the best designers/photographers/business people/dancers/artists/educators/writers/musicians, to the most involved, dedicated, crazy, passionate, loving, supportive…. I am so thankful for you all, and I hope to stay in touch.

My final revelation is that every moment of life should be savored and reflected upon–whether it is the best day or the worst.  Each minute can help you grow and/or teach you to enjoy life.  

My hopes and dreams revolve around making a difference in people’s lives, and presently I hope to do this through photography. I’ve come to accept the fact that I might CHANGE my mind, and that CHANGE is OK.  In fact, CHANGE is fantastic.  I can’t believe how much I’ve CHANGED in the past four years.  I’m definitely more open-minded, laid back, appreciative, faithful, committed, fun, responsible, and loving.  Therefore, CHANGE can’t be a bad thing.

I can’t believe I’ll be putting on another cap and gown this weekend, but the time has come for bigger and better things.

One Comment leave one →
  1. flat8 permalink
    May 18, 2009 6:40 am

    Hey Megan,

    I’ve been meaning to read your blog for a while and kept forgetting it existed, and I came across it tonight and promise to be a consistent reader :-)

    I just wanted to let you know this entry meant a lot to me. Of all my friends who blog, most just write silly stories and I’m one of the only ones who write long, analytical posts looking back at the year, the semester, the college career. I have yet to write a big college wrap-up, which I was expecting to do during graduation week, and this post really has inspired me to sit down tomorrow (it’s 2:38am and I should go to sleep at some point) and look back at what it all means.

    I really enjoyed your advice, your lessons learned, and your outlook for the future. Thanks for sharing.

    <3, Carissa

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