Opinion: Reflecting upon the bricks

Published 3:05 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

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By RACHEL RAIFORD | Staff Writer 

When I first set foot on the brick streets at the University of Montevallo, I had no idea how difficult it would be to one day walk on those same bricks for the last time. As I approach graduation, I find myself looking back on how I spent my time in Montevallo.

Graduating from high school there was so much fear. The fear of moving away from home, making new friends and learning who I was on my own. There was a lot of excitement too. How exciting it was to be in a new town, making those new friends and learning who I was on my own.

However, that first year looked different than I expected it would. Did I mention that I graduated from high school during the pandemic? To sum it up, Zoom was my most used app at the time.

Being a college student is difficult. Looking back on my first year, I knew so little when I believed that I knew everything. Sitting in my dorm room stressed out about a final paper was my biggest problem. The things I thought were so huge are, in reality, very small problems.

Right now, I’m in the same position I was in just four short years ago. I am so fearful of this next year, yet I am so excited to grow. I know fearing what’s to come is something that the thousands of people in Shelby County have experienced before at least once.

I recently began working as an intern at the Shelby County Reporter, and this small job has given me a platform to know the people of Shelby County while expanding my own knowledge. Was I terrified to start? Of course, I’m only a senior in college–I didn’t have any actual experience when I applied. However, you can’t learn if you don’t face the fears of the future.

This feeling of uncertainty and excitement is not something unique to high school and college seniors, people experience this every day. I find a strange comfort in knowing that at times, we all feel like we’re walking into the future blind.

As I look back to what I’ve done here, what I see that has impacted me the greatest is not only the education I’ve worked so hard to gain, but the people I have met along the way. Whether it was through my sorority, College Night, here at the reporter or in class, there are so many faces that have made some sort of impact.

These things don’t always happen on purpose though. We don’t all walk through life seeking people and experiences that will evolve us. Sometimes, the beautiful people you meet just happen to change you.

I didn’t choose Montevallo on purpose– I actually chose Montevallo after receiving a post card in the mail. It’s so funny to think that I made a huge decision based on a piece of mail. However, I don’t regret it one bit. Living in Shelby County has given me the opportunity to make connections with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I’ve even gotten to share a small part of my journey with you.

I think what I have been trying to say is– don’t feel alone when you’re uncertain about the future. The uncertainty will only bring adventure and that’s kind of beautiful