Time Flies, When You’re In College

I can remember kindergarten graduation like it was last week. I had on my white dress, frilly socks with my shiny, white shoes (I never understood this style) – big white bow in my curled hair, and lipstick. I remember being incredibly embarrassed when I walked across the stage to get my diploma; simply because when they announced my name and my aspirations of being an ice skater when I grew up: the crowd burst into laughter. My graduating kindergarten class of 1996 was full of future firefighters, doctors, teachers, policemen, and then there was me – the future ice skater. Needless to say, where I am from we do not have ice rinks; we barely even get snow every other year.  This experience at an early age, to realize that I was different and had an imagination, paved the way for how I would now approach my life. I branded myself creative. From this point on, I decided that I was going to be me – no matter how many people laughed at me.

Fast-forward 15 years and here I am graduating college.

It honestly feels like just yesterday I was moving into Cornerstone Hall on UNCW’s campus, a ‘fresh’ new student straight out of high school. When people say “time flies when you’re having fun,” they are referring to college. I cannot grasp the fact that in 10 days I will be a college graduate; time has definitely flown by. Before this semester began, I thought I had it all figured out, and that I was “ready” to graduate. However, I had it all wrong! My current feelings are similar to Peter Pan’s in that all I want to do is scream “I will not grow up! You cannot make me!” But, I realize that I am not Peter Pan and I do not live in Neverland; I am a Communication Studies student who is about to step foot into the real world. It may be scary, and I might not like it at first, but its life. I shouldn’t worry though – I am prepared for it. I have taken so many different classes at UNCW, have experienced so many different things, and have learned from all of them. I have dealt with my share of “crazy” roommates, the difficult realization that UNCW will never have a football team, and also a climate that is all but predictable. As I am about to graduate, I can honestly say that I am a better person after my time spent as a Seahawk. Although I am not 100% sure what I want to do with the rest of my life, I know that UNCW has prepared me for anything.

An excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, is the list of things learned in kindergarten – with the insight I have gained over the past 15 years in parentheses:

  • Share everything. (but write your name on it, roommates sometimes steal from you!)
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people. (it is against the law when you get older)
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess. (if you don’t, no one will)
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours. (you will get caught)
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat. (getting sick in college is not fun- your mom can’t make you soup!)
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. (but you should probably visit the Rec Center too)
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. (especially when you ‘go out’ downtown)
  • Be aware of wonder.
  • Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
  • And then, remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
  • The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
  • Think what a better world it would be if all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put thing back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Some things change and some things stay the same but in the end we all have to grow up. But for the next week and a half that I have left as a student, and for everyone else that has time left here, and for the future Seahawks – I suggest we listen to the lesson that Jay-Z and Alphaville live by and stay “Forever Young.”

— Jordan Hill

18 thoughts on “Time Flies, When You’re In College

  1. Great post! This was a very interesting read, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the list while Jay-Z was playing in the background. I will be graduating in May next year, and I too thought I had everything figured out. I thought I wanted to be here for film, wrong, then I though music was the right calling, wrong. But fortunately I found the communication department here to be a great place for me. Now I am excited for what lies after graduation. Good luck with everything!

  2. I loved this post. As I continued to read it, it became more and more true. Time in college is the quickest time of your life. I can’t explain how many people told me that prior to my freshman year, and I didn’t believe them. I guess you have to experience the whirlwind of a 4 years that college is to be able to truly understand how fast it really goes. Since I have been at UNCW I have learned so much but it has certainly made me re-think everything I thought I once knew. I loved the end of your blog post about “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. Those really are things that may seem trivial but really are so important.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post also while listening to Jay-z. It lets you know that things do fly by when your having FUN! Feels like just yesterday I was in elementary school. Even though I still dont really know what i want to do when I graduate, I still have enjoyed everything that I have been through while in college. Ill hopefully be able to come up with an idea for after school…but until then Ill enjoy my time here! thanks for this post!

  4. I really liked this post because it is something that we ALL can relate to. I have one semester left and it is scaring me to see how fast my college years flew by. I remember getting my acceptance letter and just itching to get out of the house and away from my parents so I could be free! Going to UNCW really allowed me to find myself and discover who I am and what I want to do with my future. I am NOT looking forward to graduating and having to leave a place that became my home, built friendships that will last a life time and helped me grow into a mature adult. Some days I wish I could go back to kindergarten and start all over!

  5. This is a great post! It is kind of bittersweet! I agree completely….college flies by even though sometimes it may not seem that way. When you are in the moment it seems that it is going by slow but I know when I look back it feels like I was just a freshman moving into Cornerstone! And now I am a junior. I just remember thinking in high school I was so ready to come to college and now I am definitely ready to go back to high school and start all over again since I know what to expect now. College seriously is one of the worst times and best times of your life. There are so many ups and downs but you grow with each step and by the time you are a senior you will have learned so much.

  6. I loved this blog post! Given, that I’am a senior myself and will be graduating in May, I can’t help but feel all the things that were said as well. Coming into college I never knew what to expect except for the fact that I had to work my butt off. Little did I know, college has prepared me for the real world and I have discovered who I really am, and who I want to be. I’ve found what I’m passionate about and the weakness that I obtain. Communication Studies have been a blessing. I’m now confident in my ability to communicate in every aspects and I’m aware of the importance of our studies. UNCW has been a wonderful place for me and I am sad to let go and venture off into the career of choice!

  7. I love this blog post, because although I have a year and a half before I will be leaving UNC Wonderful, it resonates so much with me. It makes me realize how much of my life I have spent looking forward to what is coming up next for me that I have had very little time to truly appreciate the moments at hand until they are gone. I can remember every single detail of my move-in day freshman year as if it was yesterday, and it is so weird to think that I am now well into my third year of college and a very different person than that 18 year old freshman. It has made me figure out what I really want in life, and what type of person I want to be as I grow older. I have learned so much from college and I can’t wait to learn even more. The thing to remember though, as the blog post focuses on, is to enjoy it and take it all in.

  8. As great as this post was to read, it definitely made me a bit nostalgic. I graduate in a year and am dreading the moment I when I finally am put face to face with the realization that my college years are over and it is time for me to face the real world. I will never forget how great my college years have been, and I am sure that almost every UNCW students feels the same.
    This post is extremely easy to relate to and that’s why I enjoyed reading so much. Lastly, the “Young Forever” Jay-Z song at the end is really a great final touch for this Blog.

  9. I believe this post captures the mindset of most students in the 19-22 age range. College was the one thing we have been working towards our whole lives. Now that were all here we realize college is what prepares us for the rest of our lives. It’s this weird limbo stage and most of us can’t even believe we’ve made it this far. I personally can’t believe not only that I’m in college, but that I’m almost done. Freshman year was only a blink of an eye ago. A nice touch for me was the Forever Young song at the end because I first heard that song my Freshman year at UNCW so the song holds special significance to me in regard to this whole nostalgic concept.

  10. Awesome post! This was something I could extremely relate too. I remember during my kindergarten graduation that I said I wanted to be a ballerina. Even though I did not stick with that dream, like you, I still stuck to my creative side. College indeed goes by so quickly. I have a year and a half left. And next semester I will be abroad in Spain hoping to find myself and figure out what exactly it is I want to due with my life after college.

  11. I spent the first 21 years of my life always trying to grow up. There was always something to look forward to, getting to high school, driving, becoming an adult and finally being able to enjoy a cocktail. Now I look back and am sad that I didn’t pause a bit longer to enjoy these days. As the realities of life begin to set in I can’t help but relish any opportunity to sit back and reflect on the joys of being a child. Thank you for a very insightful post.

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post. I couldn’t agree with you more on how the list of things learned in kindergarten still stay with you all the way throughout college and beyond. I also agree with you with regards to how fast time flies when you are in college. Personally I am only a junior but it literally feels like I just moved into Galloway, when in reality it was almost 3 years ago. I’m now expecting the next year and a half to fly by and intend to make the most out of it because college really is the best time of your life.

  13. I love the playful and nostalgic way in which you look at your kindergarten years. Its true that many lessons that will be important for the rest of our lives are internalized at a young age. Congratulations and good luck with the rest of your life.

  14. I liked this blog post because I remember my pre-school graduation very well. My grandfather, I called him “Pa-Pa, was very sick with cancer at the time, and his dying wish was to “see me graduate.” When I put on my cap and gown and waked down the isle, my grandfather burst into tears. While he meant graduate from high school, he knew that this was what he had wished for…He was seeing me graduate. Pa-Pa died a week after my graduation. To this day, I have a picture framed of me with my cap and gown, diploma in hand, and sitting in my grandfather’s lap while tears run down his face. I will always think of him when I think of graduations, be it pre-school, high school, or college.

  15. I really enjoyed reading this post. It definitely took me down memory lane. There are memories from my elementary years that I will never forget. It’s crazy how those simple principles that we lived by at that age are so important to remember now. Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days where I could take a nap whenever I wanted and have little to worry about. Some of my nieces and nephews are in elementary school now, which makes those years seem so much farther in the past. I have to say, sometimes it is fun to relive those days through them, but I am definitely happy to be where i am today. As a junior, the thoughts of graduating are becoming so real and time is flying by so fast! I can only hope that I’ll get as much as I possibly can out of these next two years so that I can be well equipped for the real world upon graduation.

  16. This was a great post and a very interesting read. The song “Forever Young” sums up exactly what you were saying and is a great touch to this post. Its amazing how time flies and one can grow up soooo fast. It does seem like yesterday that I was a freshman in college not knowing the direction I was heading in. As I enter my senior year I’m very excited about what lies ahead of me. I now know the direction Im heading in and very excited about my future. But still as a grow older I will remain “Forever Young”. I love that song!

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