One of my favorite Juniata Communication professors, Grace Fala, always says, “Knowing what you don’t know is wisdom. Not knowing what you don’t know is ignorance.” So, I like to think that I was a pretty wise eighteen-year-old beginning my college career. I knew that I didn’t know how to study, I knew I had poor time management skills, and I most definitely knew that on my first day of freshman year at Arcadia University, that I had chosen the wrong college for me. Some might call that foolish, but ask Grace Fala – she’ll tell you it’s wisdom.
Well, maybe. You see, as many of us know, choosing a place to begin your new life at 18 is terrifying and overwhelming – to put it lightly. I remember thinking that the idea of me attending college was so abstract and far away that it would simply never happen. Now, as a second semester senior, preparing to leave this home to find a new one, I can confirm that those thoughts might have been more of ignorance and less of wisdom. I know the anxieties one feels when being pressed with such a life-altering decision of choosing a college. I decided to put myself through that big transition one more time, follow my gut, and transfer to Juniata College at the beginning of my sophomore year.
Transferring to Juniata was both exciting and alarming. I watched as my high school friends were eager for the summer to end so they could return to their newly established college life, while I was just trying to come up with a clever, yet not-too-rehearsed, fun fact about myself. How was I a nineteen-year-old still doing icebreakers? I felt like I was never going to find my place. I say this to my former self and to all of those reading: I could not have been more wrong.
There are countless things I wish I had known throughout my transfer process. I wish I had known that I would be meeting so many lifelong friends that would continually change my world for the better – even if that change was a simple, midnight Sheetz run that I’d regret in the morning. I wish I had known that things would work themselves out naturally – that transferring wasn’t going to ruin my chances of being a strong, well-known, involved campus leader – if anything, this process would only enhance that. I particularly wish that I had known that I would spend three of the best years of my life here, regardless of the two year-long struggle it took to get here.
That being said, I don’t think I would go back and share this with my past self. Choosing to embrace my ignorance, follow my gut, and blindly transfer to Juniata has been the best decision of my life… don’t get it twisted, though, I still think I’m wise. I have no regrets and nothing I would do differently. The only thing I wish I had known is how fast it would all go by. If I could go back, I would only do so to be able to live these days twice.