Happiness and joy in the unexpected

I am sitting down to write this column on my last day of undergraduate classes because, like a true senior, I have managed to avoid Friday classes and procrastinate until the last minute. I will add my last day of classes to a long list of lasts (both good and bad) I am encountering as graduation approaches: my last Aramark meal, my last final, my last college party, and, finally, most devastating to me, the last time I will spend with a group of truly amazing individuals I am fortunate enough to call friends.

Lasts are a huge topic of conversation among seniors, but I don’t want to focus on lasts or dwell on the end of a wonderful college experience. I would instead like to look forward. The graduation ceremony is called commencement because it really is a beginning; and, while it is downright terrifying to be leaving the safety and familiarity of college and the education system, some of my best experiences have started with fear and uncertainty.

Last spring I had the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain. I was thrilled to begin my semester abroad, but I was also petrified to be traveling by myself, to another country, where they speak a different language. I was afraid of the unknown. In the end, studying abroad was one of the most amazing experiences of my life (I won’t bore you with the details, as I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. I will, however, say that if you have the chance to study or travel abroad, you should take it.)

Another moment in my life, when I was nervous facing the unknown, was move-in day at Trinity. I had no idea what to expect, as I pulled up in my mom’s mini van in the blazing heat, and was terrified to be leaving home (I’m from Omaha, Neb). But, four years later, I can confidently say that I made the right choice and have enjoyed my time at Trinity and in the wonderful state of Texas.

I guess what I am getting at is that sometimes the best chapters of our lives start with uncertainty and fear. To underclassmen, I would like to say don’t miss out on something amazing, just because it is uncertain or scary. And to my fellow seniors, I will say this: in the flurry of emotions we will be feeling in the next few weeks, remember to feel excited. Whether you have the next ten years planned or you haven’t figured out how you will be spending the next year, try to be excited for this next step in our lives, which, while uncertain and scary, will surely bring amazing new things.