Happy fall, Huskies! Welcome back to my column, a self-described public diary of sorts, and the best coping mechanism I have for the trials and tribulations of navigating my undergraduate experience at the University of Connecticut. I joke that this is “Inside Maddie’s Mind” in that it’s just my long-winded ramblings of the week, but I also, perhaps naively, choose to believe there’s at least one other person out there thinking similarly. There’s value in shared experiences and we should talk about them.
Nevertheless, here we are again in Storrs, and there’s nothing like a few far-too-hot days to exacerbate the pervasive cow smell and really make students feel at home. As always, there is a persistent feeling of uncertainty in the air welcoming everyone back to campus for another fall semester. Of course, the jury’s still out on whether that uncertain feeling is hope, despair or a combination of the two, but that’s neither here nor there. As we settle in, this unnamed uncertain feeling will start to go away. However, this doesn’t mean that life is becoming certain. It’s just the feeling that has gone away as we get more comfortable in our routines. As we each find our ideal study spots to camp out between classes and learn how to avoid our demons in the dining halls, our days become routine. We get used to the consistencies but that’s all they are – life, in general, is still uncertain.
This seems scary, terrifying even. It is both a blessing and a curse that nothing is forever. On the one hand, if you’re going through difficult times – there is no shame in riding the struggle bus for a semester – your now is not your forever. As cheesy as it may be, there will eventually be a light at the end of the tunnel. On the other hand, this in turn means that when times are good, they are not guaranteed. Thus, you should make the most of it when you can. As my co-editor and I discussed in our freshman issue (which you can still read on The Daily Campus website!) college is what you make of it. I’ll say it again here: get involved, meet new people and put yourself out there. Again, it sounds corny, but I cannot stress it enough.
Uncertainty is scary but monotony is just as terrifying; both the vast unknown and the dead end nine-to-five job are enough to make your average 20-something shake in their boots. It’s a kind of pick-your-poison situation that I don’t have all the answers to. From what I’ve figured out, you should do what you can with what you’ve been given and worked for. It is a great privilege to be able to go to college; we should all be thankful for the opportunities we’ve been given and take advantage of them to the best of our ability. Similarly, work for what you want, but not to the detriment of yourself. Yes, get the grades, put in the work, but remember to do your best to enjoy college – it goes by quickly. Remember to make time for friends and fun. The people make the place, and if you want a memorable four years to look back on you have to spend the time making the memories in the first place.
Now that this article is the corniest thing I’ve ever written – which is quite the feat for someone sentimental enough to still hold onto handwritten notes passed during class back in the fifth grade – welcome again to another semester “Inside Maddie’s Mind.” Thanks for being here.