Kendall’s Column: The Beginning of the End

Kendall and her fellow senior friends are celebrating their last hurrahs on campus.

Kendall and her fellow senior friends are celebrating their last hurrahs on campus.

Kendall Hayes, Culture Columnist

Now that the first two weeks of school have passed, I can now finally begin to reflect on the concept that this is it. The beginning of the end? 

I felt “it” coming back to school. By “it,” I mean that feeling a person gets when they know they  are doing something for the last time. I realized that this was my last drive back to Villanova to start a new semester, after having done this seven previous times. And after having that realization about the drive, I then thought about how this would be my last semester ever, actually, not just at Villanova, but for all of my education journey. One minute a person’s world revolves around classes and tests and papers and quizzes. And then before they know it, it is time to be an adult. 

When you think about the concept of school, it is absolutely wild. From the ages of five to 22, we are placed in a simulation that forces us to interact with others. College is even more of a simulation than elementary, middle and high school. In college, we are in our own little community. Our own little bubble. We eat together, live together, study together and take classes together. Despite being all different individuals from different places and different families, we coexist under this umbrella that forces us to socialize. It is incredibly strange to think about what life will be like once that bubble has popped and we all go out into the real world. 

I would be lying if I said I was not scared for the future, for what comes after the minute I cross the stage and am handed my diploma. But, I also would be lying if I said I was not excited about what comes next. Really excited, actually. 

I never thought I would truly love where I went to school. Let me rephrase. I never thought I would be obsessed with my school to the point where I would give tours for free (shoutout to Blue Key). I thought I would have an amazing college experience, but I did not think I would be one of those kids who pushed their school onto everyone saying that it has been “life-changing” or the “best four years.” However, three and a half years later, I am that kid. College has been the best years of my life. 

While at Villanova, I was able to figure out who I am as a person. The person I was when I got here in August of 2019 was very different from the person I am now.

I think that college is supposed to be the place that prepares someone for the real world, not just a place to study, party and make friends. I know that statement seems kind of obvious, but what I mean is that college should not just be about setting us up with a job and a steady income. College should morph each of us into the best versions of ourselves. And I am really beginning to see the beauty in that as it is all coming to an end. 

Now, as I enter my final semester of college and my education, I can say with extreme confidence that Villanova has done a successful job at preparing me for life post-college. Whether it was through living on my own, the friends that became my family or the connections and knowledge I have gained, I feel ready. Although it is heartbreaking to leave a place we all love so much, maturity is knowing when it is time to go. And I think the moment you realize that the next chapter might be just as remarkable as this one, is when you’re ready for it. That is when you know college ending is not the beginning of the end, but truly just the beginning of the rest of your life.