Why did I take feminism and the environment? Why am I in the Muslim Students Association? Why do I choose to do my work at the Daily Grind instead of the library? Because I can. Because I wanted to. Because these four years of college that I am about to complete are my four years. It is true that college is the best four years of your life but it took completely removing myself from the campus, the state of Virginia, and the United States all together to realize why these truly are the best years of my life.
Last semester I faced my fear of everyone on campus forgetting about me and left my home at William and Mary for the Middle East. It was by no means easy to leave W&M. By fall of junior year my insecurities and anxieties were down to a minimum and my comfort level had pretty much sky-rocketed since freshman year. Leaving, at that point, in my eyes, meant risking all of the ease, comfort, and confidence that I had found. Unsure is an understatement in terms of me feeling secure that leaving my lush, green sunken garden for the dry, dry desert. But I discovered that leaving was more than right, it was necessary; necessary for me to realize that these four years are a gift. I have pretty much been handed opportunities throughout college, to join this, take that, meet him or her, go here and there, and that, I discovered, is why I love this place and these four years.
The four years of my undergraduate experience will have ‘Jenn’ written all over them once I graduate. All of my decisions, mistakes, risks, achievements, failures, tales and travels are 100% mine. Sure I am at the College of William and Mary with 5600 other students that are also taking classes and joining clubs and traveling to far away places. In the big picture, we may all be doing the same things and going through the same motions to graduate but when you take a closer look, you can see that we are all making our own Colleges of William and Mary that is uniquely us so that each student makes these four years into exactly what they want and all of our stories are different. No two William and Mary’s are the same. When else will you have four years with all of the resources that you can imagine-grants, scholarships, incredible faculty, supportive community-that allow you to make those four years into a creation of your own.
These four years are the best of my life because they are mine and no one else’s, 100% me.