College Year One: Part The First

My first year of college is almost over, and I am going to spend this week’s and next week’s post on my general thoughts on this year.

263 Days

It has been 251 days since I was brought up to college to start a new chapter of my life (something I was so very excited to happen), and I have another 12 days left to bring me to the grand total of 263 days spent for my First Year. These last 251 days have been possibly the most eye-opening, learning experiences I have had my whole life, and it is to my belief that I have not grown more before than I have this year. While the days leading up to college are full of advice, stories, and the rest, I don’t think anything really would have prepared me for what it is really like.

Welcome To Your Life

A few of the biggest things to really hit me over this year are:

  1. How much every day I spend really effects my life in the future.
  2. College isn’t just a bridge to the rest of one’s life, it really is the start of the rest of life.
  3. The title of Bachelor in Music isn’t just an equation of classes and grades put together giving me knowledge in the process, but a chance to do the best I can, and as much as possible, to learn and grow the most I can.

Thinking about it now, while I got pretty much every grade I wanted and was very happy with my GPA, I didn’t do nearly the work I wish I did last semester. Even though I achieved almost every A grade that I wanted, I only achieved what was expected of me–what I could do comfortably. At first that just seemed what was necessary and what would work out best for the future. I mean, if someone sees a degree full of high grades why wouldn’t they like to hire me? Maybe that will be the first thing looked at in my future for a job or something, but it isn’t something I want people to make their judgement about me, whether good or bad. Now that I think on it, the grades I get, while they can be an easy visual goal and quick satisfaction, aren’t all that important to me anymore. What I find important now is pushing myself beyond what’s comfortable, and even more importantly, beyond what’s expected. I do this not so I get acclaimed by others, but so I improve myself. Another way of thinking about it is, if I raise the goal bar above what is expected, and achieve that higher-than-expected bar, the next time even more will be expected of me, and I’ll make my goal above that again. This cycle of improvement just keeps continuing, and the grades and the rest will come with it–especially if I’m reaching for above what’s expected. My hope is that I will hold myself to this now and in the future. To me, this is really the only way to make the almost completely unknown future not all that scary, because while I don’t have control of what exactly happens in the future, I DO have control of what I do now to improve myself. That’s really all I can do now. This is a realization I’ve come to this semester, and really, this first year of college.