A College Commentary: Navigating the Best Four Years of Your Life

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Annie Henry

College. “The best four years of your life.”

That’s what everybody says.

Four years filled with experiences you would never have imagined as a terrified but overly excited freshman who just moved into a shoe-box sized dorm with an uncomfortable extra-long twin bed and a complete stranger you stalked on Facebook.

You are about to begin the exhilarating and exhausting journey that is college life.

Laughter, tears, overpriced textbooks.

You have no idea what’s coming.

They tell you about the innocent eagerness to live freely, no longer supervised by parents. They tell you about the genuine bonds that will begin and evolve into lifelong friendships.

They tell you how important it is to immerse yourself into campus — to get involved, join clubs, connect with professors, find a passion for learning and most importantly to “make the most of your time” because it will “go by quicker than you think.”

College — the four years seemingly made up equally of laughter, tears, caffeine, alcohol and less sleep than what was called for. It is so much more than the cliches we were told when we were wide-eyed high school graduates.

As I thought about what I wanted my last few pieces in The Brown and White to be about, there were countless ideas that came to mind.

Our generation is facing plenty of problems and our college campus has its own issues to tackle.

Inequality, violence, apathy.

Don’t even get me started on the major problems in the world that this country and we as individuals are doing embarrassingly little to improve and fix.

Being indecisive and far too skilled at procrastination, I decided to temporarily solve my writer’s block and give my brain a rest with a few Netflix episodes, a nap and a night out with friends.

Then it dawned on me.

They tell you about the people you meet and the places you go. They tell you about the overpriced tuition and opportunities you will be given. The connections, milestones and wild nights.

Before attending a university, we are told so many of these things, but they lack many of the little in-between, ever-so-present struggles and issues that most college students face.

The emotions and the confusion. And the simple fact that sometimes things are hard, and sometimes we f*ck up.

What I plan to do in this column is talk about things we, as college students, experience on a daily basis. While it may not offer solutions, the goal of this column is to reveal that college is a complicated, messy and remarkable time. While this time of immense experimentation, growth and discovery is not easy, that’s okay. Maybe that’s how it is supposed to be.

My editions will include “Freshman 15,” “Undecided,” “Doses and Mimosas,” “You Up?” and “The G-Word,” covering topics ranging from choosing a major and the jigsaw puzzle that is hookup culture, all the way to how to cope with the dreaded day us seniors leave. So grab your planner, make some ramen and chug a Natty Light as you follow along with my 5-part column, “A College Commentary.”

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