When Nostalgia Takes Over

Melissa Rosman, Editor-in-Chief

Fall brings about a feeling of nostalgia. The crimson and gold leaves, crisp weather, leather boots and pumpkins all bring back memories of starting school as a child. Being in upstate New York creates a special sense of old-time charm, doesn’t it? Seasons change, time goes on and in the blink of an eye, you’re in the fourth week of your senior year. You’ve successfully seen four years of seasons cycle through excessive snowfall, emerging flowers, sweltering sun and falling crunchy leaves, so why the sadness?

Fall happens to be the most stressful semester of senior year. Graduate school applications are due, job applications are being accepted, you’re being sent away unprepared to student teach—but you’re still eighteen, or at least you feel like you are. A part of that lost freshman is still stuck inside of you. There are ten thousand electives you still wish to take and fifteen countries you’ve never seen, you feel completely unprepared for the “real world.” However, as a senior and a twenty-one year old, I’ve finally accepted my fate—the unknown. It has taken me four years, countless hours of studying and even more hours of crying over my future to realize you don’t have to have your life figured out at twenty-something.

I’ve heard from numerous people, “your twenties are your selfish years.” Being naïve and motivated, I couldn’t imagine my life not being figured out by my senior year. And yet here we are; you close your eyes at age eighteen one night in Littell Hall and wake up at age twenty-one in your off-campus apartment. That’s when it hits you when you’re standing in your kitchen making scrambled eggs. Senior year becomes real, you realize you won’t see your best friends daily, or your classmates who have gotten you through your most stressful moments and you only have a vague idea of your future plans.

Your legacy is over just as quickly as it began. Your face becomes a picture posted on the wall in the State Times office waiting for the 2023 e-board to make fun of your clothing style. And nothing that you have done in four years can prepare you for this feeling. Not to mention your parents asking a million and one questions: “did you apply to grad school?”, “did you take your GRE?,” “you need to apply for jobs already.” Meanwhile, you don’t even know what you want to do. This is where I stand, wrapping my head around this idea of the unfamiliar.

If I could go back to freshman year, I want to say I would do everything differently, but I know I wouldn’t. I’m happy with the choices that I’ve made in school, but a word of advice to the underclassmen: take advantage of every opportunity you can. Don’t wake up tomorrow with four years blurred behind you, regretting every decision you’ve made. If you have a feeling of nostalgia when you stand where I am, you’ve done college right.

Create a bucket list and cross everything off of it with your best friend. Take countless pictures and embarrassing videos of your guy friends singing “Defying Gravity” or of you and your roommate dancing to “YES.” Eat all of the General Tso’s pizza you can and don’t take these years for granted. There are a lot of people who want to be in your shoes right now, with four years, three years, two years left in front of them.

Cherish your time at SUNY Oneonta. With a little effort and help from friends, you have the ability to make these the best four years of your life, I know I did. I am excited, anxious and nervous for the next step into the real world, but I know that for the next four months, I have the support of the friends, professors and classmates that I have had the pleasure of meeting here. I came into college four years ago, and in four months I leave with the knowledge that deer need capes, the wisdom to know never to drink “the punch,” the ability to pull an all nighter to write a final paper after a night at the Sip, and with friendships that I know will last me a lifetime.

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