It’s less than a month until I graduate. There. It’s on paper. One month from today, I will be stuck in that heinous no-man’s land between undergrad and law school. And it sucks. In the past weeks, I’ve noticed myself slipping into a state of regression, in the hopes of stalling the inevitable””my first real steps into adulthood. I’ve stopped folding laundry and left it strewn about my room. I’ve skipped classes that I shouldn’t have (much to professors’ chagrin) and even was recently reprimanded for being too loud in the library (I know several of you all just smiled and said a silent “thanks” to yourselves”¦). But, despite my efforts to stall the clock, time keeps moving forward. And with all this movement, I keep thinking to myself: if I could do it all over again”¦ what would I do differently?
As a student of history, I’m fascinated by past mistakes that could have been easily avoided (Napoleon could’ve waited an extra two months and avoided a Russian winter, etc.). This habit has come to play a key role in my own life as well. I constantly think of the “what-ifs” or “should-haves” on a personal level. And with graduation only weeks away, it seems as if these words are all that fill my mind. But, in finally following a few of these shoulda coulda wouldas to their logical conclusions, I found that do-overs are overrated and that some things are meant to happen the way they do. And thus begins my list of do-overs that I’m glad I didn’t.
1.) Cultivating friends in college. Despite my verbose (don’t know it, look it up) nature, I seem to have trouble maintaining constant friend groups. Jumping from Lancer parties to theater-kid dorm rooms to Delt gatherings (where I met the incomparable and fantastic Chris Caudill, Will Chisholm, and Khuong Nguyen- like Kung Fu), I tried to find somewhere that I would meet my best friend ever (#dumb). But, along this journey of friend-making, I realized that I’m definitely not a best friend kind of girl. I have great friends, friends I get lunch with, Trinitonan friends (Megan, Matt), friends I talk to after a Bloody Mary, and friends I see twice a year. And that’s perfectly fine. I love talking to hundreds of people at once and thrive on humorous stories about people’s lives (just ask the random people that I recently started Snapchatting). So, while I once wished for a consistent group of friends, in the last weeks of school I find myself so grateful for the diverse range of friends I maintain, knowing that if I ever need someone, I have a big group to choose from.
2.) Choosing to major in the humanities. More often than I’d care to admit, I wish I would’ve majored in something other than History/Spanish. I see the genius displayed by engineers who study fluid mechanics (WTF) and neuroscience majors who can tell me about every single part of my brain. But, alas, here I stand, a slave to the liberal arts. And though I know that liberal arts majors don’t make the highest salaries coming out of college, I’ve discovered something that makes me proud. Liberal arts majors understand the true emotions of life. History has taught me how human beings act, how they change the world with their choices, and how a single person can change the fate of a nation. Spanish allows me to converse freely (more so in broken Spanglish) with the world in which I live and lets me understand my fellow human beings at another level. Thus, I’m glad I stayed the course and I’m now a proud liberal arts major. No do-overs here.
3.) Coming to Trinity. Somewhere around sophomore year, I began to wish for a do-over on college choices. In choosing between TU and another private university, I must admit that my main initial reason for choosing Trinity was to tick off my mother. She attended Trinity when it was a “commuter school” in the ’70s and wasn’t a fan of revisiting her own youth. So in an act of teenage rebellion, I chose Trinity. And once all the new friends, Gamma activities, and Mabee food choices freshman year faded away, I was stuck in an academic grind that left me wishing for another academic venue. But, thanks to the support of some interesting comrades (Barbour, Manning, Collins), I didn’t leave. I stayed through the sticky points. Which is the challenge we all face. And suddenly, in April of my senior year, with the weather beautiful, a new puppy at home (hello, Harper and Allison), and seats open all around the fountain, I’m thrilled at my choice and definitely wouldn’t do anything differently.
Thus, in examining all the do-overs I so desperately wanted, I’ve found that had I done anything over, I wouldn’t be who I am today (preachy, right?). And so, no matter how badly I want to “do college over,” I’m glad that the cosmic world doesn’t allow for “Groundhog Day” to really occur. This is my life. And it can only move forward. In closing, our time together grows short, dear readers. Only a few more weeks left of me telling you how miserably I’m failing in my understanding of how to navigate the life of a young adult. But stay with me. We may have a breakthrough yet “¦ Until next time.
Gabby Shayeb is graduating with a degree in history. She is a member of Gamma Chi Delta and the Association of Student Representatives.