It was only yesterday that I remember being a freshman in college, fresh off the plane and lugging my three suitcases and a heavy backpack up the hill to my residence hall. I remember the dreary and slightly rainy day and how my first friend at RPI helped me drag my things up the hill and into my room all the way in the back of the Burdett Avenue Residence Hall C-wing.
Now, I’m a fourth year student at RPI and on the way to graduation, except for the fact that I have decided to stay for a co-terminal year and will be graduating in 2015 instead of with my friends in 2014. The fact that I won’t be walking with my friends as they graduate and that I will be parting with them after graduation makes me very sad. They say that the friends that you make in college are going to be your friends for life; I sincerely believe that.
Recently, a friend that I made in college celebrated her birthday, and when she received all her birthday greetings and cards from her friends, she said that there was no need and that “the greatest gift you have all given me is the miracle of friendship.” Think about this everyone; it is no easy feat for a friendship to form between you and another person—all the time, commitment, and communication that you both put in. It means a lot for a friendship to form for someone, and it isn’t something that you can just put away or give up easily.
That being said, cherish the time that you have with your friends now. Make memories, take pictures, and do fun things together. Once you graduate, you won’t have the time or luxury to be this free and do all those things together as a group anymore. You’ll be saddled down with obligations, a job, bills to pay, among other important things.
But don’t let all that keep you from catching up with your friends. For those that are new college students (aka freshmen) take some time off sitting in front of your laptop and do fun things with your friends. This might well be the only real free time you have throughout your college life. I say this as someone who stayed in her room a lot during my freshman year and didn’t make the effort to go visit my friends and hang out with them. I really did miss out on a lot by not doing that. So don’t get lazy and not walk that block down the street to visit your friends in their residence halls. It’s not that far; just wait till you live off-campus and live so scattered apart that it takes an even greater effort to visit others.
For those that are graduating, my advice would be to cherish the time you have now. I know that graduating and getting a job is important, but this is also the last year that you have together with your friends within reach. After you graduate, you’ll all go to where your jobs take you, and then it will be hard to find the time to get together and hang out anymore. So take the time to hang out, take a million pictures to remember the happy times, and make an effort to keep in touch with each other when you settle down in a new city and a new job.