In my communication methods class, my professor asks us a specific question every day. Last class, she asked us what advice we would give ourselves if we could go back to the summer before starting at Boston College. Answers ranged from investing in a good mattress pad to taking Perspectives, though it may seem daunting, as well as suggestions to explore new club opportunities. I wondered what I would tell a younger version of myself—the version that had no idea what my college experience would be.
As I near the end of my sophomore year and arrive at the halfway point of college, I have come to the scary realization that my time here at BC is almost over. Grappling with the reality that the “best four years of my life” will soon be over while simultaneously struggling to find a place in this world after college has put my mind into overdrive. Every college undergraduate endures this misery—I have heard it dubbed the “mid-college crisis.” It’s the point in college where you can’t touch the finish line, but are also worrying about post-college internships and jobs. You’re rethinking the last two years and going over missed opportunities, possibly trying to make up for the lost time. So, hence, here’s my advice to you, rising Eagles:
It is true, there is no rush to declare a major. I was adamant about needing to declare a political science major even though I had no idea what it fully entailed. I ended up hating it and switched majors. However, don’t waste four years thinking that what you’re looking for is going to fall into your lap. College is not solely about going out and partying—it also involves making connections and developing skills that you can utilize in the future. Taking core classes, speaking to advisors, and having discussions with students really helped me understand what I enjoyed studying. I learned which classes would facilitate those interests into something I could pursue, which in turn makes me work harder with the hope that my dedication will translate into graduating with a fulfilling job.
Along those lines, I would fully encourage any student to join clubs or apply for positions that both provide an academic push but are also fun. If someone told me that I would be writing for The Heights a year ago, I never would have believed them, After realizing my love of writing, I applied on a whim and was lucky enough to do something I really enjoy. Another piece of advice: apply only to internships about which you genuinely care. If you are passionate about a company and its mission, you can translate that passion into one hell of a cover letter.
I have also learned that life throws curveballs, and the opportunities presented to you don’t always come at the “right time.” I was very upset recently when I had to decline an internship offer due to financial reasons, but I have the utmost confidence that it will only give me time to develop new ideas about myself and better prepare for the next opportunity.
The “mid-college crisis” certainly tugs at the heartstrings when I think about all the times during freshman year I said, “no I probably won’t go out because I’m tired and I don’t know anyone who will be there.” Bad excuse. Time flies and I don’t want to remember that one Thursday night I spent at home getting sleep for my 10 a.m. class. Instead, I want to remember going out with my best friends, meeting new people, and dancing all night.
Let me assure you, you will be fine without eight hours of sleep, and you will have memories to hold onto for many years. Along those lines, BC introduces you to so many people, one or two of which can become your soulmates. And I’m not talking about the romantic soulmate, though that could happen too, but a best friend whose very presence makes every possible experience that much better.
When I sit back and think about the last two years, I know I could never have anticipated the growth I would experience, both academically and socially. There are many preconceptions about college, but I challenge you to knock them down and create your own concept of college. I hope that one day I can look back and say, I challenged myself to study new topics and embrace opportunities, along with being a supportive and loving friend to those around me.