Today is Ohio State’s first day of school, and it’s the first time in eighteen years I haven’t partaken in first day of school activities. I thought I would be thrilled to graduate and that I wouldn’t miss this day, but here it is and I’m feeling surprisingly melancholy.
I didn’t quite have the college experience I’d wished for. Because I spent the first two years figuring out that I had EDS and trying to understand how to treat my condition, I didn’t have a lot of fun. I didn’t go out with friends, and I didn’t even go to a bar or an OSU football game (which is sacrilege according to classmates) until my senior year.
I found myself, and some wonderful friends, on the Hunt Seat Equestrian Team. As I became a more competitive member I also saw myself becoming the person I had, deep down, always been – outgoing, goofy and able to have fun without worrying about what others think.
My condition didn’t have to keep me from having fun, and I only wish I’d realized that sooner, because I missed out on so much that I will never get back.
I think the friendships are what I miss the most about college. My best friend and many others are still enjoying (hating) the college life while I live at home and substitute teach, pay loans, and compete for a spot in an osteopathic medical school. It feels like I was moving into my freshman dorm just yesterday. Time really does fly…
So if you’re reading this and you are starting back to school this week, take a minute to think of those like myself, and remember to enjoy it! College may not be the best years of your life, but it’s still up to you to make them great!