We Change and We Learn

Freshman year for me, and most college freshmen, was about experiences. Everything was new, but eventually the excitement faded away and routine settled in.

As soon as I left for the summer, I began to miss the routine – my friends, classes, and the many faces I had seen everyday around campus. When I returned home, I realized how quiet the world can actually be. I remember laughing when my voice echoed when IIMG_9551 called my dog’s name in my backyard. I would have never thought twice about it before. I can honestly say that today I thought of the first time I heard garbage trucks on the Nyack streets on my way into town last September. Although insignificant at face-value, these reminiscences contribute to my memories and a place that I have grown to love. I love my school, even its quirks. I love Nyack College’s passion for people, God, and making an impact within the world. Above all, my memories remind me that I’ve changed since college.
Yes, change was inevitable. However, going into college, I never knew how I was going to change or what or who was going to change me. The friends I made, the lessons I learned and the experiences I had have greatly impacted me and challenged my views.

This is what I have learned:

  1. Going away was the right decision.
  2. You can’t be friends with everyone.
  3. Shakespeare is right – “This above all: to thine own self be true.”
  4. Love is unconditional.
  5. Sometimes, you need to put yourself first.
  6. We can be inspired by, and we can aspire to be.
  7. Finding the right balance goes beyond eating junk food in moderation. It is a physical, mental and spiritual lifestyle.
  8. Don’t let people’s problems be your problems.
  9. Confidence is how you carry yourself when no one is around.
  10. When you’re having a rough day, get yourself a cup of coffee.
  11. Trust your gut.
  12. Comfort zones are meant to be broken.
  13. Establish boundaries.
  14. The word “dead” in deadline is not coincidental.
  15. People love to talk. Be interested in them, and their stories will surprise you.
  16. Manage your time and schedule. Don’t let either one of them manage you.
  17. However, that doesn’t mean you will always be at your best.
  18. You will be tired and feel brain-dead, but when you give yourself a push and goals to achieve, you will get everything done.
  19. You will miss home.
  20. On those days, you may eat certain foods that remind you of home (i.e. eating fries on a salad because you’re from Pittsburgh).
  21. If you respect yourself, others will most likely respect you.
  22. Be honest with yourself, and be honest with with your friends and family.
  23. Let go and have faith.
Sarah Dunlap

About Sarah Dunlap

I am a Pittsburgh native and an English major and Communications minor at Nyack College Rockland Campus. I am a devoted dancer, avid reader, and an aspiring writer. "Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath
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