I hate the song “Titanium.” Not because I think it is a particularly bad song, mind you. When I first heard it, I just thought it wasn’t my particular cup of tea, and would have likely just ignored it forever, like I do countless other songs that just aren’t to my taste. Everyone has songs they just don’t listen to, and this was just going to be added to my list.
I have heard the song “Titanium” at least 4,000 times, and that isn’t an exaggeration. I have memorized every word and note of it, and occasionally hear it as the backdrop to my nightmares. Why have I heard a song I don’t like thousands of times? Because one of my roommates loves it and played it on repeat for a few months last year and has played it quite often ever since.
As you may have guessed by now, this piece is not about a song I don’t like. It’s about life in college, and all the little things that can drive you crazy about life in college sometimes. It’s also about how those things don’t really matter in the long run, and how if you can learn to enjoy them, even a little bit, your time here is going to be amazing.
A little info to back up my cred so you’ll listen to me even a bit more seriously: I’m a fifth-year senior, so all those classes you’re taking right now are similar to ones I’ve already lived through. All the crazy plans you have for your future college years are sitting comfortably in my rearview mirror. More importantly, all those problems you have with where you are right now are ones I’ve long-since worked through, and trust me, they aren’t quite as scary as realizing that you have less than a month left of school and no job yet.
So here is my lesson, and I hope you hear it well: Enjoy college to the absolute fullest. You don’t need to go drinking or do anything illegal — I’ve avoided all that and still have more crazy and wacky adventures to tell than most. All you need to do is find the people who bring out the best and most fun sides of yourself. If that’s the guy who tells you which club is slamming hardest on a given night, that’s fine, but if it’s the girl who makes it seem cool to sit at home and play cards on a Saturday night, that’s fine too. The important part is that you stay true to who you are, because college is the absolute best time to figure out who that is exactly.
I know, I know, all of these things are pretty cliché and sound like your parents. But here’s the thing about clichés: Usually they’re true.
Personally, I found the people who bring out the best in me the day I came to the College. My roommates and I (there are five of us in total) never met before we signed the lease to our off-campus home. We are all different majors and have different backgrounds. We have different opinions about pretty much everything, and as you may have guessed from the opening of this piece, we have varied tastes in music. In a different setting, at a different time, we may have never become more than casual acquaintances, if we even lasted past the first few minutes.
Today, I honestly cannot imagine my life without these guys. In three incredibly short years we’ve become more family than friends, and they have definitely been the best years of my life.
So here’s the message I hope all of you reading this can take away from this piece: College is not about the classes, even if those are important for your future career. It isn’t about the wild nights or the crazy stories, even though those will definitely be fun memories later on. It isn’t about the extracurriculars, as great as those may be, or about the significance of living on your own for the first time, as big as that is.
College is about the people you meet who make you the best version of yourself that you can possibly be, and about the time you share with those people that will last forever. College is about hearing the same freaking song you hate thousands of times and not caring because the person playing it is family.
I got lucky — I met my college family on my first day here after signing a lease with a bunch of guys I’d never met. Maybe you haven’t found yours yet, but don’t worry, you will. You have some time left, so start looking.