Cherish the small moments while in college

By Sandhya Sivakumar, Columnist

Freshman year, I started school with an inimitable mix of emotions. I was excited to see my friends all the time, and take classes that I was actually interested in, and to have the freedom to go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It was still my first time away from home, so for the first week, I was miserable while also having the most fun I’d ever had in my life.

But now I’m a sophomore, and neither the excitement nor the misery is as intense. Living away from home in an apartment with my friends is great, but it’s not enough to distract from the impending horror of 18 credit hours, on top of 10 hours of work.

This time around, the innocence is gone. I’m well aware of the stress and exhaustion that lies ahead, and each semester is somehow worse than the last. I know all my midterms are going to pile up at once. I know the likelihood that my lecturer will be both nice and good at explaining things is close to zero. I know that no matter how hard I try, the CS department’s gonna’ screw me over.

Now, I’m approaching the semester with almost nothing but dread. More than anything else, I’m scared. It’s painfully obvious how fast last year passed, and how we’re hurtling ever-faster toward the future, where the best outcome is getting a job right out of school, and joining the legions of the overworked and underpaid — that is, of course, if we find a job at all.

Closer and more immediately frightening is the prospect of failure — the fear of not working hard enough, complemented by worrying that even giving your best won’t be good enough to succeed.

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    The scariest thing of all is a lonely future. Independence is framed as so essential in our society, but the dream of having an apartment all to myself, and the idea of coming home to an empty house after a long day is disheartening.

    The idea that I could lose so many of the things that give me happiness upon graduating — things like eating takeout at 3 a.m. with my roommates, or watching Netflix in the Union between classes — is definitely dawning on me. The small but frequent moments of happiness I catch even in the midst of so much stress is something I definitely take for granted, but something I’m quickly realizing I should cherish.

    Sandhya is a sophomore in LAS.

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