What If?

So. It’s been one week after leaving the most transformative year I’ve yet to live through, and now I sit here, trying to piece that whirlwind together.

And after a ridiculously reflective couple of days, I think I got to the root of it.

I figured out what’s so great about college.

It’s the constant exposure to new people and ideas. Every person you meet and interact with has the potential to alter the way your life goes. Some of those interactions go nowhere, and you don’t cross paths again. But some of those seemingly insignificant introductions mean everything. Because they give you a best friend. Or send you in a new way with your academic career that you never considered before.

The best part of college is the constant stream of newness, the never-ending chance to change directions and discover something new about yourself. It’s invigorating and sometimes exhausting.

The “what-ifs,” I’ve learned, are wonderful. College lets you embrace those what-ifs and lean into the discomfort. There’s something so gratifying about pursuing those what-ifs and finding out what’s on the other side of that question mark. What if I approach that kid in class I’ve always wanted to get to know? What if I take a random wrong turn and lose myself for a day in a library I didn’t even know existed? What if I look up from my phone, just for a second, and see a flyer for a meeting I end up deciding to go to? What if?

As college students, the uncertainty we have to live with can be disheartening sometimes. We wonder, ‘will it all work out? Am I going to make it?’ However, all at the same time, that uncertainty is what keeps us going. Some days, we roll out of bed with the utmost certainty that we know who we are. But the day moves along, the “what-ifs” happen, and we crawl back in for the night perhaps a little more confused, but not quite the same person. At this point, we probably don’t know too many of the answers to those elusive what-ifs. And that’s perfectly alright.


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