The End is the Beginning


As a senior, I rule the school.  I’ve conquered freshman stupidity, sophomoric attitude, junior slump and the summers in between with no major incident.  I have arrived.  The end is almost in sight. For some, that’s a sad thing–they can’t bear to leave our beloved Athens. For me, it’s kind of exciting…A new place to explore and call home!
But I can’t shake the feeling that this year is very reminiscent of freshman year.  Sure, as seniors we’re smarter, better adjusted, and older, but I’d venture to say that seniors cut loose just as much as freshies–we just do it legally 😉
No, it’s not the cliche “I feel young again,” because typical seniors in college aren’t exactly old…it’s more of a feeling of everything coming full circle.  Seniors are on the brink of change, about to venture out of the fun, exciting microcosm of Athens (or another college town) and into the grind.
Because of this, we slam as much as possible into our days–and nights–to stuff our memories with time in DT Athens, football weekends, camping excursions, frisbee Fridays, too frat to care Tuesdays, house parties, and more…So we can say, one day, in truth that college was the most fun time in our life.  In reality, Freshman and Senior years are the best times in our lives, sophomore and junior years we just trudge through to get here.  
Moreover…allow me to wax philosophical for a moment: perhaps Senior year is reminiscent of freshman year because we spend so much time reminiscing on that time and (hopefully) considering how far we’ve come.
Yes, self reflection is egocentric, too pensive, and sometimes misty-eyed.
But it has occurred to me that if you have no period of self reflection on your life and your past then you have not solidified within your attitudes and values the lessons you’ve learned.
Without at time of self reflection to think and talk about how much you’ve grown, you cannot actually grow.  You must be able to objectively examine your experience, mistakes, and adventures and pick out things that have made you who you are as a big, bad senior.  Without these realizations, you’ll do the big bad senior thing, but you’ll just be a big old freshman at heart.
If you don’t realize what lessons you’ve learned, it never becomes a part of who you are.  Why?  Because if you can’t think or talk about the lessons you’ve learned and how they’ve changed you…then you haven’t learned them.
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