Finding Herself and Her Forever People

Clara's Suffolk Story

“Suffolk pushed me to figure out my values, my interests, and my needs, both professionally and personally.”
Clara Gay Psychology Major, Class of 2022
Clara's Suffolk Story

People say that college is the best four years of your life. Looking back, I agree, but not for the reasons you may think. College wasn’t the best four years because I got to study abroad, or meet lifelong friends, or see championship parades. Those things are wonderful, but I think college was some of the best years of my life because it was hard—painfully difficult, even. I thought high school was tough, but my growth at Suffolk was the most challenging and most rewarding experience I’ve had yet.

Ask any of my mentors—including my bosses, professors, and friends—and they’ll agree that the past four years included a lot of struggles. I had a hard time adjusting to the college schedule, courses, and workload. I felt homesick, even though home was only an hour away. I struggled to find who I was and who my people were.

Through all the hardships, though, I had a solid support system. Suffolk pushed me to figure out my values, my interests, and my needs, both professionally and personally. I learned how to set goals for myself and met them, even with barriers. I changed my career path after learning my true passion. I began to understand how to set boundaries and communicate better with those around me. Suffolk created an environment where I was pushed out of my comfort zone. As uncomfortable as that was, it was imperative.

This is why I say college was the best four years: not because it was like what you see in the movies or on your Instagram feed, but because it forced me to do some difficult introspection. Personal growth doesn’t occur overnight; for me, it took four years of failure and perseverance. Four years of a Suffolk support system that encouraged me to try again. Four years of learning who I was and who I wanted to be.

It might sound cheesy, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without the struggles. I wouldn’t have found my forever people. I wouldn’t have applied to grad school. I wouldn’t have found amazing mentors, and I wouldn’t be as confident in my abilities as I am now. College is hard. At points it sucks, but that’s just growing pains. If you can get through it, just imagine who you can become.

Portrait of Suffolk student Clara in her cap and gown.

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