By Mary Grace Garis
The semester is nearing a close, and I – like many of you – feel already halfway at the door, reaching out to my Associates Degree which is just that little bit out of grasp. It is indeed the season finale of the Mary Tyler Grace show, the opening of which had me walking around campus to Joan Jett’s cover of “Love is All Around,” if anyone’s curious.
Yes, my one year stint at Brookdale is over, a year peppered with doubts, battling my own Holmdel-bred snobbery, vigorously pulling up my GPA, and reluctantly telling people that I go to community college now. Has it been worth it? Have I retained anything from my two semesters in what I used to refer to as the lower-middle class of higher education?
Listen. If there is one thing about being in this environment you can learn, it’s that it is never too late to learn.
It is never too late to pursue your dream. It is never too late to change your dream. It is never too late to re-connect with an old friend. It is never too late to make new friends. It is never too late to re-invent yourself. And, most crucial, it is never too late to look forward.
It’s very easy to fall into the arms of nostalgia, and very important not to go to bed with it. By keeping your mind towards the future, you keep your past from chaining you down. You learn how to define yourself as a better person.
Because we are not the grades that we had in high school. We are not the color of our hair, or the barely-above minimum wage part-time job we hold. We are not who we f***, and thank God for that.
We are who we want to be, and being in an environment like Brookdale lets you take the first steps towards that, if you allow it. So for those of you who are still a hop, skip and a jump away from your Associates, learn to utilize the school to help evolve yourself as a person. It doesn’t mean getting involved in every club…it just means throwing yourself into something you’re passionate about, or going to a school event for sh*ts and giggles, or keeping your grades up and giving yourself options for the next step. Realize, my friends, that the world outside of Brookdale is not as patient, nor as kind; now is the time to seize opportunity.
And now is usually the time in the article where I make a throwback closing to the 70’s pop culture reference in paragraph one. What will it be? “You’re gonna make it after all?” Picture of myself throwing my hat in the air? Pointing that I’ve never actually watched the show, but according to Wikipedia Mary Tyler Moore was supposed to be starting her life at 30-something, and that’s kind of related? No, none of that.
Just realize that Brookdale is not the end of the world, or a stalemate. We all go through a defeatist attitude of “my life is over” at some point or another, but I promise, your life is still just beginning. You can still use your time here to make yourself who you really are meant to be. It is never too late.