When reflecting upon my life and attempting to discern the day that has proven to be the most important, I struggle in narrowing it down. There have been countless moments that have vastly changed the course of my life, both positive and negative. And there have been other times, seemingly insignificant, which, in the future have shown themselves to be just as important, only the effect is not immediate. As I write, I am struck by one of those moments making its late, yet grand, entrance. The most important day, of my life thus far, was the day that I decided to further my education. Taking the step to move forward into the role of a college freshman is often highly underrated. It is a choice that determined not only my next four years, but the decades following. It has and will shape who I am as an individual, as a student, and as a professional.
I am not sure that I can pinpoint the exact moment when I made this decision. I remember watching television when I was a child and feeling a twinge of envy when an older sibling or main character spoke of their time in the dorms. I remember daydreaming of the many career paths that I would travel; veterinarian, doctor, lawyer. And I remember the feeling of confidence in just knowing that I would find myself feverishly scrawling notes across blank pages with only the voice of my instructor overriding the sound of my pen meeting with paper. The day that I first stepped foot on campus, I was ready to take these ambitions head-on and to turn that confidence into accomplishment.
I feel that many people take for granted the decision to go to college. Often, it is simply assumed as the next logical step in life. However, with the recent financial crises as well as the many difficulties plaguing nearly every citizen of this country, I believe that it should be regarded as a courageous and admirable choice. For me, it meant not only bettering myself intellectually, but immersing myself in an unfamiliar environment; meeting new people, exploring new avenues, and developing academically and in a myriad of other ways. College is many things; exciting, terrifying, anxiety-ridden, wonderful, formidable. It is taking the person that you have already grown to be, and making the conscious effort to improve, without really knowing how to do so. This decision has already been beneficial, and I am able to see now, how it will continue to be so.
The college experience is incredibly grounding. There have been so many times in my life when I have felt invincible. I had accomplished something great, and nobody could take that away from me. Then, I find myself among a sea of your peers, so similar to me. They have the same aspirations, they dream the same dreams, and at times, they seem to be doing a much better job of turning these dreams to reality. It has quickly been a reminder that I have much to learn, and I can enjoy doing so. I am challenged daily, and I am faced with situations that I have never been confronted with before. But this is all part of the experience, and I am thankful for it every day.
The most important day of my life quickly escalated into the most important era. I made a decision, and that seemingly simple moment will carry itself with me. No matter the career that I will find myself in, or the many momentous occasions to follow; that one choice, on that one day, will reverberate in every day to come. As I explore this further, I am taken aback by where I am, how much I have accomplished, and how small the light at the end of this tumultuous tunnel still appears to be. There is so much more to see, to learn, and to gain. I can rest assured, however, because I know that on the most important day of my life thus far, I had the ability and the fearlessness to take that step into the unfamiliar and to continue on this endeavor set in motion, by me.