Senior Reflection: Looking Back


As my parents closed the door on me on the second floor of Hassler on a hot day in August of 2017, I didn’t believe that I was about to make a journey that I would eventually be proud of. 

I’ve heard before from parents, counselors, and mentors that college is the best time of your life but, more importantly, a time for you to really become who you want to be. I always thought they were being dramatic — turns out they weren’t wrong. 

I’ve come to realize that I did actually undergo quite a transformation in college, and it is one that I have only now come to appreciate. 

I thought as a freshman that I had figured out who I was: an academic-driven perfectionist with an outgoing personality. While these things haven’t necessarily changed, I clung to (what I thought) were these steadfast truths about myself in my very quickly-changing world.

This led me to other issues, which I only now realize when looking back. I ferociously defended any quirk or differentiator that I had from everyone else, desperate to reestablish my high school distinction in college. Only now do I realize that instead of trying to establish these identity markers that I thought I had, I really had no idea who I was or wanted to be. 

Then came other struggles that shaped me and started making me evaluate myself for once. I began dealing with crippling anxiety issues, problems making and keeping friends, and a bitter loneliness at a school that I felt didn’t even know I existed at. 

I hated school — I almost dropped out on numerous occasions. The first two years were bitter and hard. My parents nearly cried when one day off-handedly in the second half of junior year, I finally said, “I like school.” They truly never thought they’d hear me say the words. 

However, I now see that this is finally when I started becoming more comfortable with myself. I started to ask myself what I wanted to do and what I thought was important, instead of trying to live up to the expectations of every single person in the world. 

And I started to enjoy myself. 

But this newfound confidence of junior year started to wane again as I became a senior and the threats of graduation and “the real world” quickly and unrelentingly approaching. I started to get weighed down again with the berating thoughts of “what should I be doing?” and “what do other people think of my career ideas?”

And not only was I worried about the ideas of my own job and career opportunities, but I started to worry if I was really “adult” enough to be graduating. 

I was going to be moving back in with my parents, unsure of exactly what my future held — I still felt emotionally like a child. Occasionally, I still do. 

But I was caught up in how I had changed in only a few days, or even a few months. But one late-night girl talk in my roommate’s dorm room reminiscing on the old days of Moravian and the fond memories we had of things like Late Night mac and cheese bites, Midnight Oasis, Thanksgiving dinners, and the little secret nooks in the library where we used to love to nap and study made me remember just who I was three and a half years ago when I came to Moravian. 

I realized I was a completely different person.

And as I sat in my car on West Laurel St., with my dorm packed to go home for Thanksgiving and just the streetlights lighting up the road, I realized that I didn’t give myself enough credit. 

I looked around at the different spots that I loved, the different pathways that I walked in rain and snow and shine, the different little areas that had so many little memories — and I realized just how much I had grown up. 

I became an adult, or at least on my way to one, in just those few short years. And even if I’m not at a place where the world thinks I should be at when graduating college at 21, I am proud of where I have gotten to. 

The Comenian has played an integral part in this, and has helped shape me into this new me. 

I was a frightened freshman joining my first week of class, but I was timid, unsure, underconfident, and trying desperately to do what I thought the other team members would want. 

I became bolder and braver as a writer as I continued as a reporter and section editor, and I was beginning to be more sure of myself once again. 

When I was voted in as editor-in-chief, those pesky fears creeped back, and I again was so afraid of being a leader that people would disapprove of that I didn’t feel confident making my own decisions. But with time and encouragement, I started to be my own leader, my own writer, and my own person. 

And now, I can feel confident leaving knowing that my time at college may have been just as formative and great as all of those people told me it would be. Even if I didn’t realize it along the way, I did grow up. 

But more importantly, I grew into someone I could be proud of.