As the school year draws to a close, we say our goodbyes and the endless possibilities of summer lie ahead of us, the Wheel has asked two of its writers, one a senior and one a freshman, to encapsulate their respective Emory experiences.

College senior Catherine Pilishvili

The most mind-boggling part of reaching the end of your senior year of college is realizing that it’s not going to be the same from here on out. You won’t get extensions on work in which you’ve fallen behind. You’re never going to get to chug copious amount of various types of liquor, then proceed to inhale an entire pizza. You also can’t roll out of bed the next morning and traipse into work the way you could your 8:30 a.m. classes. While you still had to deal with the consequences of your actions in college, past this point it actually gets real. From here on out, it’s bills, car insurance, grad school, and a real job, and it’s overwhelming. But at the same time, you look back on your last four years in undergrad, and fondly realize these were easily four of the best years of your life.

It’s amazing to think of the person I was when I started out freshman year at Emory, and the person I am now. The people I met, the sorority I joined, the knowledge I gained, and the opportunities made available to me because of this institution are things for which I will forever be grateful. Emory gave me the confidence, knowledge, and ability to work towards becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be. And this was only made possible by the generosity of my parents and the incredible peers and professors I had the pleasure of getting to know at Emory. It’s bittersweet that this time is coming to an end, but I’m most certainly excited to start a new chapter in my life, as I’m sure we all are as seniors.

College freshman Ana Ioachimescu

When I first arrived at Emory in August, I was a very different person than I am today. I’m almost frightened to leave behind my freshman year and be one year closer to finishing college.

This year, I learned the importance of making connections. I used to be very reserved, but once I started meeting new people, it became addictive. I longed to connect with as many people as possible. I also learned that standing up for your friends can be a very fun duty. Emory can feel like a small school sometimes, with everyone knowing everything about everyone. In those moments when you feel somewhat suffocated, it’s good to have some avid supporters beside you.

College taught me that having the liberties of an adult means accepting the responsibilities of adulthood. With greater independence, I was faced with an endless list of scary adult tasks. I’m sure many of my peers feel the same way, whether they were forced to take public transportation alone or manage their money or arrange their move-out. The good part is that once you try these tasks, they suddenly seem a lot less scary.

Finally, freshman year taught me that no one should hinder me from living my life. If you want to do something, do it. Live.