October 4 , 2016
By Rachel Stewart
College. A new chapter in our lives. A new beginning. A new us. I enter this year with a bittersweet attitude being thankful for all of the memories and opportunities college has brought me, but saddened that this is the last year that I will be able to call it my home. I reflect on my time here at Dominican and can’t help but seek out those starting their journey in the college world wanting to share the pearls of wisdom that I wish everyone knew.
I left high school with the idea of cliques engrained in my mind. High school teaches us that our social status is permanent, that we have a specific group of people that we associate with. Leave that at the door. College is about seeing people as people. It’s about breaking out of the box that we have been put in and recognizing the value that every person has within his or herself. It’s about looking past that sports jersey, the textbook, the clothes, the financial status, and seeing that a person is not defined by physical attributes or the groups he or she is assigned to. It is about seeing that people have so many layers and we need to get to know people better to truly understand who they are. If we keep this in mind, we will see that people have a tendency to surprise us in amazing ways.
College is also a very crucial time in our lives, because it is when we are stepping out into the world on our own and being shaped into who we will be for the rest of our lives. This is our fresh start. We are leaving behind the people we grew up with, the ways of life we knew, and the place we called our home. It is so important to decide what you want to do with this new beginning and decide who you want to be. This should not come as a burden, but rather a sigh of relief because you are free from the labels and past that once defined you. Now YOU get to choose who you want to be. Don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled, because it might reap the best rewards.
This is your time to grow, shine, and be who you are meant to be. Rather than taking the back seat and letting someone else drive the bus, grab hold of the steering wheel and direct your life and travel through life in the way YOU want. Embrace this fresh start and realize that every choice you make will be a stroke on the portrait of your life. It is your choice what you want that portrait to look like. Make it beautiful!