Time loves to present illusions. In the summer, the hours are unlimited. But when the school year begins, even fifteen minutes are precious. I wish I could save all my free time and bottle it for when I’ll really need it. It’s unbelievable how fast life is changing. Yesterday, I visited George Mason University and bumped into a friend from high school. We conversed for a little while, but in those few minutes, it felt as though I had watched the past six years fly by. My peers are human timelines. We watched each other grow up, embarrass ourselves, and make countless mistakes before learning how to correct them.
I sit firmly planted on July 28, but August 29 will kick me out of my seat as I look forward to a packed schedule. My friends and family have urged me to begin preparing for college, often giving me a polite, “Hurry up.” It’s difficult to sense the urgency when these summer minutes are seemingly infinite. But before I know it, I’ll be breathing in a cool autumn breeze as I rush to my first college class.
I am a juggler, as high school has taught me how to balance schoolwork, sports, and family life. But we’ve rewritten the script. I’ll be juggling college, extracurricular activities, and (hopefully) a job. I know I might feel overwhelmed when school begins. But I’ve successfully managed a packed schedule during high school. I balanced tiresome cross-country workouts with hours of homework before I’d go to sleep and do it all over again. Fatigue crept upon me during those final waking hours, as I wished that I could recharge without risking unfinished schoolwork.
In the rush of attending rigorous courses, I hope that I will establish a sense of belonging in the Mason community. I imagine sitting in the front rows of poetry slams, as my eyes watch outspoken writers perform. I want to join my fellow Patriots in the midst of laughter as I participate in outdoor activities. I look forward to being surrounded by intellectual thinkers who strive to make a difference in the community.
So as I sit on July 28, I am aware that the future won’t be exactly as I imagine it. I can accept that there will be disappointments and conflicts. But I will carry my problem-solving abilities and resilience on every commute to and from school. There are friendships to build, lessons to learn in and out of the classroom, and unique experiences to partake in. I cannot wait to go to Mason on August 29, look at the campus’ buildings, and think, This is the school where I will grow, transform, mess up, and rebuild.