OMG. Oh. My. God. Shy of two weeks, I will be walking across SMU’s Meadow’s Garden with my degree in business journalism. You think I shouldn’t be worried about the decision to wear silk or sheer depending on the atmosphere but here I am, same old Farah. Just 5 years ago, [yes, I am one of those indecisive 5th years,] I was part of the first class to walk across Allen’s oh so amazing $60 million dollar stadium. I remember it like it was yesterday, I looked like I was graduating to Jersey Shore Academy. I had the darkest of spray tans, neon peach acrylics, jet black extensions, and dramatic false lashes. My mind was as lost as my physical identity at just 18. Half a decade later, I learned a couple of things.
- Highschool set you up for the real world, you deal with the most heartless of people to realize it’s a whole different world on your own. You don’t HAVE to socialize with a certain group in a select school, you can branch out and meet new people without anybody batting an eyelash. You don’t have to starve yourself or wake up an hour early to look representable to the boys whose pure job was to tear you down. You don’t have to succumb to a dreadful routine and standards that every high school student usually does. You’re on your own and that’s the bittersweet part about it. You learn your own ways to just be out there livin’ ya best life. Some say college isn’t for them, some choose to pursue it later on and some go off and get PhDs and masters. It really doesn’t matter when you do it or if you do it, just as long as you’re content.
- “I Love College” by Asher Roth explains college a little. Not the party scene or passing out with your shoes on but just the fact that good friends are all you really need. It’s where you’re exploring yourself and creating memories with new friends and lifelong friends. You’re making the dumbest decisions but it’s COLLEGE, like hello. That’s where you’re supposed to wanna rip your hair out from how irrational and completely idiotic you are. Your last time being a child is up, you can skip class but you can’t skip work. You can forget to do homework, can’t forget to do a presentation. Enjoy it, I know I did.
- When I left for California for a semester, I was the happiest girl. You’re independent and you’re learning about yourself as well as the new city you’re in. You’re not in your comfort zone so you’re forced to go out there and boy is it hard. But once you do it, you realize you did it! You still won’t be able to drop your mom no matter how independent you are, she’s your backbone. She yelled at you during your worst mistakes but laughed it off once you figured your way out of it. You learn not to depend on your parents and the choices you make are up to you, even if you have their faces floating in thinking clouds above your head. You either push those little clouds away or slightly listen to them.
- You lose people you’ve known for years and it sucks. Either distance, schedules, morals, values or life choices, it just happens. You can’t beat life but you learn which ones you don’t want to live without, despite the circumstances. You’ll make an effort to see them and vice versa. It’s a sad thought when you thought they would be in the crowd with your favorite flowers, clapping and smiling for you while you cross the stage but, it happened for a reason. Who knows, maybe once you graduate you’ll cross paths in 20 years in a whole different city. Then again maybe not, so don’t get your hopes up.
- Learning really isn’t as bad as you think, especially when it’s something you love. Yeah, it still sucks you’re not getting paid because time is money duh! However, you figure out what’s for you and what isn’t. Let me tell you, the 5th year [me] says it’s not an easy task. My schooling and internships taught me that I can’t speed everything in order to get things done. My editor and professors would agree. I need to take the time to actually learn what I’m doing, I want to actually be knowledgeable in what I do, not just have the title.
- You grow up but you won’t notice it. You have grown up through the years of ups and downs, stressful times and multitasking. You stop getting mad over the silly things, you gain more patience and you know what’s important.
Switching the tassel really does indicate a new you. When it’s time to walk across the stage, I know it’ll be a different me from mini Snookie circa 2013. I know in another half-decade, I’ll be even more different. I don’t know where I’m headed or have any jobs lined up. Am I stressed out? For once, not at all. I’m enjoying the moment and going to use this summer to brush up on myself. Maybe that includes nostalgically binge-watching shows like The O.C., Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill and traveling to a country I’ve never been to. One thing I will do is become a step closer to what I want to do with my forever.