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The College Experience

Patrick McAvoy ‘19


College really does go by in the blink of an eye. This is a statement that relatives and teachers constantly would say to me as I prepared to go off to college. I never believed them, but they were right. I remember my first day of college like it was yesterday. Although I was luckier than most moving into college with two of my best friends from home as opposed to being stuck with random roommates, I dreaded the drive to Merrimack. I intentionally procrastinated packing until the very last possible second the morning of freshman move-in day because I was nervous to leave home for the first time. I was leaving my comfort zone and for the first time didn’t really know what my life was about to be like.  

I quickly realized that my fear of the unknown college life was misplaced as I was fortunate enough to meet some wonderful people throughout the first few weeks of college and have been close with them ever since. College is cool in that sense. Occasionally you can just walk up to someone and say “hi,” and by the end of the conversation you have a new friend or group of friends who you will your college life with. College is also crazy because at any moment you could be in the same room as future doctors, professors or business moguls, but right now you’re both at the same party on campus or striving for an “A” in the same class.

I was able to become comfortable at Merrimack because I was fortunate enough to get involved with clubs early on. Club baseball was my first acclimation to college and was huge for me because I was able to meeet people outside of just people on my floor who were nice to me. The upperclassmen on the team treated me well and that has always stuck with me because it really was what made me start to feel like I fit in at school.

Aside from sports I was able to get involved with WMCK and The Beacon (shameless plug) among multiple other organizations on campus, and this was huge for my college experience. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many talented and amazing people throughout my time with organizations on campus that it really kept me here as I contemplated transferring throughout my freshman year. These organizations have also allowed me to do some super cool things, like traveling to Atlanta for a short film my friend Bob and I made, or traveling to California twice with The Beacon. These are some memories I’ll have for the rest of my life. Being a part of The Beacon over the last three years has given me an opportunity to write what is on my mind and work with some amazing, talented people. This year has been my favorite with the paper and I really want to thank Mish, Bob, Moon, Maddie, Emily, Marissa, Megan, Katie and the rest of the staff for being so great this year. It has been a pleasure getting to know all of you; thank you for dealing with all of my emails.

College has been a great experience for me, but there sure were some not-so-great times. These four years have really given me an appreciation and understanding about mental health that I didn’t really have before. College is a stressful time balancing school work, jobs and other commitments; and on top of that there are things such as heartbreak, anxiety or depression that come into play. I went through a pretty tough time throughout my junior year, but luckily for me I had family and those same amazing people I mentioned earlier to really help me out of my dark place and now I feel I’m at a better place than ever.

With only a few weeks remaining in my college experience I am content with everything I’ve done. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some really awesome people that I’ve spent my entire college career with and hope I am friends with for the rest of my life, gotten to do some really cool things and have learned a lot. I am 100% not the same person that sat in the car on the way Merrimack looking out the window wishing the car would turn around. Now I may feel the opposite when I’m driving home on May 19th.