Dear first year…what I wish I would have known…

When I graduated high school in June 2007, I basically had two weeks before I started college since I was enrolled in a summer enrichment program.

And at first I was definitely not happy that I was going. I wanted to use that last summer before college to rest, hang out and do absolutely nothing. But in the end, it was really one of the best things I could have done. I had no idea how different college would be from high school. I figured I would be just fine but it was much harder than I thought to navigate a big campus, make new friends and survive those dreaded classes like English 101 and Math!

And Lord knows I needed that GPA because without that head start, I would have had a very bad wake up in the fall when I thought it was a good idea to take Astronomy (**shakes my head) and minor in business — both were mistakes on my part.

But you learn from it and you move on.

Now fast-forward four years…well five now, and I’m an alumna of a great university and I learned more than just what was taught in those text books or hour and half classes.

I learned how to be a better person for myself and others. I learned who I wanted to be like and what I wanted to avoid. I learned what passions I had for life and how they could impact the world around me. I learned what it meant to face rejection, acceptance, defeat and success. I also learned that it’s ok to have a few regrets….not the sentence you thought I was going to say next right?

Well, it’s true. In life, whether we want to admit it or not, we all have a few regrets and that’s ok. It’s not like we let those regrets take over our lives but we do have to acknowledge them. Only because they remind us that we have to change those regrets to realities.

Now, I really don’t have too many regrets from my college years. I always say (and believe) that everything happens for a reason. Our mistakes are lessons that needed to be learned. And our challenges were just a few tests that will had to pass. But even now, a year out of school, the only regret I ever had from college that I truly regret, is not studying abroad. It’s an experience that so many of my classmates have experienced and it really saddens me that I never got the chance.

I didn’t know where to fit it in until it was too late.

But this is a regret that I will make a reality…one day. I still have the desire and dream to travel abroad to Spain to work on my Spanish and embrace such a rich culture, to explore Europe where you’re just a train ride away from London, Paris, Italy, Germany and more.

I will make it over there one day.

But I say all this as August approaches and my little brother heads to college in the fall. As he’s gearing up for this next chapter in life, I was reminded of same chapter. Five years ago, if I knew what I know now then, who knows how my college experience could have been. I know I have avoided Astronomy 101 like the plague but I wonder if I would have studied or at least traveled abroad. I wonder if I would have had the courage to go away for three, four, even six months to a new country.

I wonder. But that’s all i can do because I would never change the past, I’ll just use it to remind me what I need to do in the future.

Until next time,
KG

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