It may not feel like it when you are downing shots at a frat party, but college is the last stop before full adulthood. As another semester winds down, I find it impossible to grasp that I am expected to transform from teen to grown up in only eight semesters. That’s only four short years. Whatever happened to the days when being “grown up” was far off in the future, when the only adults you knew were your parents, and the answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was a chance to elaborate on your future successes as if writing your fictional autobiography.
I don’t think I ever actually thought I would be a grown-up. I mean, there were signs. I became vaguely aware of this when the cast of Friends walked into the sunset last year, and I guess I should have taken a hint when my parents made their reservations for graduation. The real world is a scary place. To be honest, I’m not sure I am ready to decide what I want to be when I grow up yet. Can I be a freshman again?
In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast, and if you don’t take a chance and look around once and a while, you might miss it. Sorry, that is a horribly overused quote and I apologize for using it. I think it appeared on every page of my high school yearbook, but its true, isn’t it? From the moment we arrive on North Campus, the time starts ticking slowly away. If you’re lucky you make a few friends, have a few laughs and maybe learn something before they push you off into the great beyond.
Driving back to school this break with two friends that I made freshman year, I was happy to find that we had all come a long way since then, but while we are all two years older and wiser, it felt like no time at all had passed. There’s a reason people make their lifelong friends freshman year. The shared experiences of freshman year are the ties that bind. Just think, in only two short weeks a new batch of recruits will receive acceptance letters and the cycle will start all over again.
As a junior, its hard to believe that I have only three-count-’em-semesters left at Cornell. Adding to my growing paranoia that the end is near is the fact that soon many of my peers will be jetting off to faraway places for a semester abroad, leaving the rest of us behind to pick up the pieces. But I have to say, for once I am surprisingly excited not to leave. Sure, we all complain, but as time goes on I realize that we should get down on our knees once and a while to thank the Lord that we aren’t in the real world yet. Note, I am not referring to the playland of twenty-somethings in the MTV-financed dream house; I’m talking about the actual real world. They say college is the best time of your life, and they’re right.
Years from now we will all look back on our Cornell days with fondness and remember how much fun we used to have before we had to enter the real world. It’s all very Kevin Arnold. Maybe its not too late to ask ourselves what we want to be when we grow up. Even if it is fast approaching, we aren’t there yet. If you wanted to go to Yale, well that dream is out the window, but there are still other things that haven’t been decided yet. I may have just watched a little too much It’s a Wonderful Life this Thanksgiving break, but it’s at least possible that I’m really on to something.
Archived article by Logan Bromer
Sun Staff Writer