Probably the most valuable and molding period of our life, these four years of college are going to go a long way in shaping our future. These years, filled with experiences, both good and bad, times of laughter and some of tears, will rush by as we surge forward on the journey to adulthood, and independence. Our decisions are now our own, as is our education.

Never again in our life will we get the opportunity to experiment with academics with such freedom and vast, diverse choices. As one of the few who have been given the good fortune to be a part of such a fulfilling educational system, it is our duty to make the best of it, and most importantly, the right decisions. We’ve got all the support and resources we could ever need at our disposal. Now is the time to take charge of the future. These years will never return. There is no point looking back and repenting.

The timing couldn’t be better – we have no external responsibilities, besides just doing well. Yes, sometimes college can leave you completely out of breath, but it’s part of the experience, it has a purpose – it trains us to survive in the big bad world.

Whether it’s the clubs we join or the courses we take or the parties we go to, everyone is responsible for their own choices. True, there are some who are not given the liberty to choose, but for those who are, there is no excuse to wasting that liberty. There is no compulsion to decide as soon as we start. Each one of us can take our time to explore and discover where our passions truly lie – the important thing is to make the best possible decision in the end. It makes no sense for a science major to lament bitterly about the ton of lab work he has to do to and hold that against an English major, who doesn’t have to deal with labs, since the science major chose his or her own education. It is tough, and mistakes are bound to be made, but even those mistakes are ours, and so are the priceless learning experiences.

Sometimes the very vastness of the choices available can be overwhelming, but time is on our side now, and there is help at each step along the way. Everyone is bound to fit in somewhere, it might take awhile to find that niche, but once you do, every bit of the hard work is worth it. It is just about taking the initiative and forcing the way open if need be.

Rather than abusing the luxury we have now and running against time later, let us each realize the importance of committing to the choice that’s right for us, and once we reach that decision, stand up for it.

I still remember Dean Green’s words during that lazy orientation week, when he said, “After a month of college, if you find that you still have to force yourself out of bed to go to class, something’s wrong.” Until now, throughout our career as students, our options were limited – our education was regulated by others.

College, on the other hand, is a plethora of options. At least now, when we have the freedom to do something that excites us, let’s make the most of it. It is very easy to stay put in the room and be isolated from the outside world. It takes willpower to go out there and establish an identity, get involved in something you really care about – that, in short, is the essence of college. Ultimately, the education belongs to us – not to our professors, not to our parents, but us.

Krishnan can be reached at skrishnan@campustimes.org.



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