Nicole Theodore, Columnist

I think for some of us as seniors in college a lot of talk about youth has been passed around. We laugh at it as we think it will never to go away, but in the back of our heads we think one day, our lives may be complicated. We may not be running around High Street with loose ponytails and hearts anymore, seemingly piecing together our nights over laughter and conversation with the best friends we may ever have.

But then again, who says we ever have to let these moments disappear?

I’d like to think of life this way when I think of the future. This thought comforts me even when I feel a little down about the bigger responsibilities that are on their way.

I like to think of life after graduation as just a continuation: a mixing of passion and coffee, apartment shopping and interviews, and the smell of fall blowing across a table as I sit there and laugh about the night before with a good friend, just as I did at Miami for four years.

These thoughts have lately led me to dive into my love affair with Oxford and Miami.

The deep burnt orange leaves, the academic atmosphere and the work-hard-play-hard attitude are only half of the reasons why I think this place is the best university in the entire world, and a place I will think about for the rest of my life.

I would never change a thing about the day when I made the decision to come to Miami back in 2009, even though I wasn’t sure what the future held for me here.

Call this senior year (ish) nostalgia, call it senioritis.

But I took for granted how unique Oxford is. This sudden love hit me sitting at the bar last week. I was staring at everything going on around me: pitchers of beer flowing endlessly over the bar, girls dancing to a 80’s rock ballad shaking their heads back and forth, while also thinking about the blatant fact that girls here dress up like we’re going to a NYFW event. All of these small things I suddenly appreciated in a strange way.

Most of us come from families of wealth, families of success, families of hard workers or maybe we just want to start a new beginning: a new tradition.

We are unique in our Miami conformity in the sense that we all are leaders, trendsetters, accounting geniuses and maybe even future media personalities. We affect the world, we just don’t take normal jobs and positions and not ask questions.

Maybe the problem in our conformity comes from the fact that we don’t care how others see us because we are too busy having the best times of our lives and too determined to make a mark on this world to even notice.

I almost forgot what it was like to be 21 in college, as my work load increased and the pressure of “the next step” loomed over me. The feelings trickled down my spine like a prolonged breakup as my drink went down my throat.

I couldn’t admit to myself that college is almost over, and that I have no control over stopping it. It’s so true that even if for a small time, for four years, your life is only defined by you.

Fate brought me to this school. And it broke me, built me back up and made me question who I was, what my passions were, what true friendship meant, how love could be defined, how intelligent and savvy I was and could be.

I believe in order to better yourself, you have to throw yourself into a situation you almost think you won’t survive.

I unknowingly did that by coming to Miami. Most of us can agree that there are parts of our lives while being here that were challenging and made us question who we were.

I have so much Miami of Ohio pride, and I have to say, it was more because of the mistakes I made than the successes that came with being here. Being here makes you think outside of the box, and to become the person you maybe wanted to be when you were ten years old.

How often is it to feel that way leaving a place?

You may not have traveled a great distance to be here, but when you leave, you feel as if you may never be the way you were here again.

A part of you is left within Oxford, but also a majority of you is changed because of this place. Without this school, I wouldn’t be who I am right now. And I have a good feeling you feel the same way.

The point is, make sure to take every single moment and make the most out of it at Miami. Not just making the most out of the academics or the amazing resources we have, but also the fact that for four years you have the ability to become who ever you want to be.

Whether it was the academic work you achieved, the lessons you learned, or the friends you made, it is undeniable that this place has some sort of magic intertwined in its history and its future.