Anna-Catherine Kueng ~ Assistant Editor
Since I was a child, I have always associated August with one thing: going back to school. While it used to be exciting buying school supplies and a new lunchbox in elementary school, going back to college is a different feeling. It means leaving behind my hometown, and all the people there that make it feel like home. It means suitcases bursting at the seams, long drives, and farewell tears.
When my voice cracks as I tell my best friend bye, when I see my parents waving as I back out of the driveway, and when I leave my large, soft bed, I begin to wonder why I put myself through going away for school.
The older I get, the more I want to be home. The college lifestyle and excitement that comes along with it is fun for awhile, but when stress begins to build up, all I want is to be with my family. Lynchburg is a great town, but my heart will always be for Danville (no matter what people say about it).
As much as I hate to admit it, though, going away to college is exactly what I need right now. For example, I have experienced good and bad things last year that have helped me grow into the woman I am today. Being at the University of Lynchburg gives me opportunities, like working for the newspaper, that I could not have had if I had stayed at home. And though college is lonely at times, it only makes me more appreciative of the time I get to spend with my loved ones.
During my freshman year of high school, I was obsessed with Frankie Ballard’s song “Helluva Life”. I listened to it every morning before school because I could not get over the lyrics “bad times make the good times better.” Those may be seemingly simple lyrics, but the implications behind them are huge. If it were not for bad times, we would not be able to appreciate the sunny, heaven-like days of our lives.
Whether I can see it or not, one thing is sure: college is making me a stronger, more independent person. Hard times always have a way of doing that because they teach valuable lessons in patience, perseverance, and gratitude. When I graduate in three years, I will not be the same Anna-Catherine as I was when I started college last August. I will be confident, smarter, and ready to take on the next chapter of my life.
Even though I am not thrilled to be back in the routine of school, I am trying to be appreciative that I have been given life this long and that I have the opportunity to get an education. Furthermore, my friends at U of L keep me uplifted and there are always people back at home cheering me on, as well. So, school may not be my favorite thing, but I know wonderful memories are right around the corner this semester.