Senior year finally hit me when I got a letter in the mail about my student loan payment plan. Everything hit me all at once, “Wow, I actually have to start saving money,” I mumbled to myself as I anxiously read the loan amount. I still cannot believe that three years of late nights in the library and taking strolls downtown with my friends is coming to an end. But looking back at my Whitman experience, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I had many ‘ups and downs’, regrets, accomplishments, but most importantly, I have had an experience that will shape the rest of my life significantly. I know it sounds ‘mushy gushy’ but I really believe that things fall right into place. When I think back to my Whitman career, I remember the, “you were a great candidate but we didn’t pick you,” emails, the rejections, and the moments I felt inadequate. But then I also think of the phrase, “when one door closes, another one opens,” and I think back to those times of rejection and see them as moments of guidance, where the universe gravitated me to the things I would most benefit and flourish from. Maybe I didn’t get that really cool internship, but I did have many other experiences that have enriched my academic and personal life, and experiences that helped me grow in my understanding of myself and the world.
“No regrets,” is a phrase coined by many people, but instead of no regrets, I think it is okay to be regretful. I’m going to be honest, I have had many regrets in my life, like opportunities I lost out on or people I have burned bridges with, but I like to see these moments of regret as a reminder that feelings of anxiety or sadness are valid. Being happy and nonchalant all the time is not a standard I want to set for myself, but rather a state of mind that allows for all of my feelings to take place and to be okay with that. To me, ‘self-care’ is letting myself cry or going to the gym to let out all my anger because I think all of my feelings need time and space to express themselves. Flashforward to senior year me, now, sitting at my laptop writing this blog, I am in awe of the many changes I underwent and how much I have grown from someone who was afraid to ask her professors for help, to one that is not afraid to speak and step up.
I feel very blessed and grateful for my Whitman experience, the friends I made and lost, the stories I heard, things I learned, and even the tears I shed. Now that I am planning for my post-undergrad life, my Whitman experience has given me something valuable: Grace. A giving, loving, understanding grace with myself.