Column by Katie Kocijanski

Katie Kocijanski
Katie Kocijanski

How did it become my senior year of college? Everything is constantly changing right now. I remember reading somewhere recently that this time in my life can be considered a transitional period. How can I be on the verge of graduating in less than a year? It feels like yesterday I was a senior at Monticello High School. I thought I had it all figured out. At 18, who wouldn’t? I remember being so excited to go away and start over.

High school wasn’t a terrible experience for me by any means. I had a great set of friends at the time and did well in my classes. I always had this idea that college would be a much better experience for me. I wanted to become a different person than I was in high school. I let people walk all over me and never stood up for myself. I never felt respected or like I belonged. And I let that happen, I did nothing to fix it. I was just a face in the crowd. I vowed to change this in college.

Looking back, four years later, I did change that perception of myself. I’ve had incredible experiences since my days at Monticello. I’ve met so many amazing people, some of whom had good and bad impacts on me. I no longer feel like I am just a face in the crowd, I’m me — Katie. Finally, I feel like I have a great group of people in my life. Some of them may be coming and going in the next year or so and for the rest of my life. I accept that. I know that the ones that truly matter will stick around.

Now, in 2012, this is the year of transition for me. I am finishing up my time at New Paltz with some wonderful memories. I don’t know where my life is going once I graduate. All I know is that I want to be happy and experience life to the fullest. I want to see the world and take advantage of all the opportunities life presents to me. I will always treasure this time in my life and can honestly say at almost 22, I have no regrets.

Time has a funny way of catching up with us. Everything has a way of working out. I didn’t know it all at 18 and still don’t at 21. I’m still trying to figure out. What’s different now is that I know I am not alone. My family continues to be one of my few saving graces, as is my best friend, Charlotte. We’ve lived out our college experiences together. My college years may be almost behind me, but my life is just beginning.