Oberlin Blogs

Paradoxes

October 5, 2022

Meredith Warden ’23

I’m back in Oberlin after studying abroad this past spring. It’s been quite a weird semester for a few reasons, in all honesty. As a senior, I’m very cognizant of how little time I have left, and it already feels like that time is passing by very quickly. Part of me wants it to pass by quickly—in many ways, being in college feels like ‘I just have to make it through this week…” work-wise. But I also don’t want to feel at the end of this semester, or in May, that I didn’t savor my last year here. 

It’s very strange to feel like my senior year so far has been paradoxical in this way. I love many of the things I’m involved in on campus—field hockey, my Honors project, working in the Writing Center. I want to do them, I enjoy doing them, and I know I would regret not doing them. But another part of me feels a certain sense of obligation to keep up these activities, especially when they feel overwhelming or all-consuming. It’s so difficult to feel like you’re always rushing from one thing to the next, which is often how I feel. 

Yet I also know that these moments are some of the final times I have the chance to do these things. Field hockey is only a fall sport and Honors is just a year-long project, for example. I love field hockey—simply playing the sport, getting to be with my friends and teammates, and having a strong sense of community through the sport. I’ve played field hockey now for 8 years, and it’s become a huge part of my life—which is surprising to me given that I’d never considered myself a very athletic person. Similarly, I’m excited about my Honors project and I know that I would regret not doing it. I love doing research and synthesizing what I’ve found, which is most of what a Honors project is. 

 It feels very paradoxical that I both feel connected to Oberlin and other people through these activities, that I love doing them and want to do them, and at the same time that I occasionally feel stretched too thin. Maybe part of that is just being a senior, and knowing that time is passing quickly and slowly at the same time. Knowing that there is a finite amount of times I will have a movie night with my housemates, or practice with my teammates, or spend time working on Honors. Those thoughts are both terrifying and comforting at the same time. I know this isn’t the most uplifting post, but sometimes college isn’t all that uplifting. Parts of it suck, parts of it are lovely, and most of it is mixed. Right now, it’s mixed for me. I think that so much of college is those small moments that make you appreciate it more—whether that’s writing a really good sentence, or goofing around with friends and teammates, or staying up late to talk with friends. My goal right now is to appreciate those moments without thinking too much about the future.

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