Column: Looking back through the years

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When you’re in college, all any adult tells you is to enjoy it while it lasts and that it’ll go by in the blink of an eye. Most might be tempted to just nod and smile politely at comments like this, but not me. 

Over the past four years, I took these cheesy sayings to heart and have tried to slow down and appreciate the little forgetful moments of my days here at Lehigh. Being the nauseatingly nostalgic person I am, reminiscing has quickly become part of my daily routine. As for the more live-in-the-moment types of people, I would highly recommend indulging in a trip down recent memory lane before we are all off on new adventures and cherished college memories fade from our minds. 

While talking with senior Annie Karras, ‘21, about what she remembers most about her first year here, she revealed that it was living in the dorms with her classmates that made the biggest impact.

“We were on the third floor of M&M, which was the place to be when we were freshmen. I cried going home at the end of the year because I would never live with those people again and it made me sad. I was so happy there,” said Karras.

A student’s first experiences on campus are often the ones that stick in their brains the most, as is the case with Karras. There is something about being out from under your parent’s roof for the first time and being submerged in a culture created by a bunch of crazy energetic 18-year-olds that makes the environment especially conducive not only to the spread of the flu, but also to make some really good and memorable times.

As for what she has learned from the past four years and what she will carry with her into her next chapter, Karras had a heartfelt thought to share.

“Four years ago I wasn’t doing things for myself. I was thinking about how other people would think of me, but I have learned to do things for myself and do things because I want to. I think I’ve really grown as a person,” said Karras.

Everyone’s college experience is unique and special for them and we all learn different lessons at different times, but Karras’ ideas on growing into her own skin and gaining some self-confidence is something I think many college students relate to.

While we were taking a look back, I also asked Karras about how her time here at Lehigh has helped her make decisions concerning her future. 

“I’m a psych major and I’m also getting my prerequisites for dental school so that makes it super busy. I will be finishing up my sciences and hopefully getting into dental school and going there in 2022,” said Karras. 

Karras’s mother is a dentist so in a sense it has always been an aspiration of hers, but her years here at Lehigh have helped make that career path a reality for her. 

Another habit I’ve adopted recently is asking seniors what advice they would give their first-year selves. In my humble opinion, it’s the ultimate reminiscing question because it forces you to think about everything you’ve been through and see what stands out in your mind as the big moments. I catched myself wondering if I have really changed or grown at all in my time here, but when I think about what I would tell the 18-year-old version of myself, it really comes into perspective.   

Karras’s advice to her freshman self is ironically something she heard from a new student this year during sorority recruitment.

“You can’t spell college without a few L’s. That saying really resonated with me. I took chemistry my freshman year and I ended up dropping it because I was not ready for it, and that was an L for me. I’m sure everyone has their own stories of different L’s and you just have to keep going and keep pushing through,” said Karras.

This is some excellent advice for freshmen and plus, those losses Karras is referring to are usually where the best memories are made.

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