Original article written by me for The Boston Globe.
When I think of college I feel they misspelled the name of this experience and that it was originally meant to be called Collage. For the average student, college is a compilation of experiences, emotions and relationships that will define both your future as well as help shape who you are as a person.
I am from Caracas, Venezuela but I decided to come to school in Boston because I wanted to learn how to write in English. Mission accomplished, I guess. But I never expected the huge cultural shock that going to a school like Emerson College would represent for me.
Coming from a conservative Latin-American background, I wasn’t necessarily prepared for how liberal and open-minded the people at an American school are. But after four years I’ve come to realize that if I’d have gone to a school with people more like the old me, I would have never seized the opportunity to pursue my passions the way I did at Emerson.
The thing about going to such a trade-specific school is that you’re constantly surrounded by the most talented people you will ever meet. Not only that, but their drive and passion is comparable to none. Emersonians take their college experience way beyond the classroom by getting involved in extra-curricular activities that allow them to express their talents and creativity in every possible way.
This is something I didn’t come to understand until my senior year, when I realized that my resume was way superior to the resumes of students from other schools, because of the amount of extra-curricular opportunities the school provided me with, and how much encouragement I received from both my professors and classmates.
Since Emerson is such a small school, you end up taking classes with the same people throughout your entire college career. And as cliché as it sounds, you do develop a family feeling towards them. At Emerson, you are not trained to believe that your classmates are you competition but your partners-in-success.
It would be too easy to say that everything about college is wonderful and that these years are all fun and happiness, but that is far from the truth. College is a really existential period in our lives, and the amount of bad things that happen to you are probably equal to the amount of good things. I mean, how many of us found ourselves in a situation that seemed like the end of the world, only to later realize that it really wasn’t such a big deal?
These realizations however, only come to you when you look at you college experience in retrospect. Looking back, everything that happens to you in college is like a little piece of a collage. But you only get to assemble this collage once you are through with your four years, and put together all of the pieces you have been handed. You then realize that every piece of the collage has a spot where it fits perfectly to form the picture you are left with.
Adriana Herdan is a graduating senior at Emerson College. Her major is journalism and after graduation she plans to move to New York to pursue a career in fashion journalism.