College is short, remember to have fun

By Tyler Panlilio , Opinions Editor

When you attend a big university like UI, it’s almost like a fresh start for yourself. Chances are, you are probably a decent way from home, living by yourself or with a few roommates, figuring out how to do college right.

For some students, the thought of being on their own is exhilarating; but for others, it’s probably more frightening than anything. I’d like to argue the former is definitely the way to go, for one reason and one reason only.

You only get to experience college once in your life. Well, unless you drop out and go back some five years down the road or decide to get multiple degrees. But my point still stands.

I mean this wholeheartedly when I say these four years should be something you can look back on and be content about. And it shouldn’t solely be about how hard you studied, how many academic Registered Student Organizations you joined or how many internships you landed.

Yes, grades are important, internships are almost essential and getting your foot in the door for that dream job is pretty much one of the main goals here. But please, for the love of all things good, enjoy yourself.

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    If there’s one thing that was ingrained in my head growing up, it’s college does change you. This could be politically or culturally or whatever, but the point is it leaves a mark. But I realize now that really only happens if you let it.

    If you spend all your time worrying about academics and how that plays into the unforeseeable future, you might just be aging a bit faster than the rest of us.

    Definitely have four-hour talks about life with your close friends the night before your orgo exam. Don’t forget about that awkward coffee date with someone you met on Tinder when they asked if you liked Starbucks or Espresso Royale better and you responded with, “Yes” (we know the clear winner here, by the way). And cherish that one time you soloed “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” during karaoke night at Firehaus. Or really, just any variation you can think of that you’ll remember fondly.

    And this doesn’t mean what you look back on has to involve a lot of friends or partying or anything along those lines. As long as you know you had fun here, in whatever way it comes in — that’s what matters (but also remember to have fun in ways that don’t cause harm).

    If this means you find joy in traveling to compete with the intramural frisbee team or are ecstatic about leading group discussions at book clubs every week, then, by all means, continue to do so. As long as you’re having fun in college, you’re golden.

    Before you know it, you’ll be walking down the stage at Memorial Stadium in a cap and gown and just like that, college is over. I don’t know about you, but it’d kill me to know I should’ve had a little bit more fun during the four years I was here.

    Maybe what I’m trying to say is analogous to only being a kid once; but this time, you’re in your late teens going into your early twenties. I’m sure other students can relate when I say I was pretty keen on being an adult and excited for all that it entails — at the age of nine.

    Because you know I’d do almost anything to be seven and riding my Razor scooter around the cul-de-sac with my pals one last time. Ten years from now, I’ll be thinking the same thing about my four years here at the University.

    Tyler is a junior in Media. 

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