The best worst decision I ever made


Katja Benz, Columnist

I started college in May 2018, even before I graduated high school. College was amazing (don’t worry, I still like it). 

Prior to March 2020, I was on track to graduate in May 2022. I was excited to graduate and then go to grad school to become an academic advisor, a job I knew I’d love, despite not knowing it really existed until my freshman year of college. 

And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I finished out my sophomore year online since it was past the deadline where you could drop classes and not have them show up on your transcript. 

I decided to defer from Eastern for a year. That meant living at home with my parents again (which as great as it sounds was just okay) and starting a paraprofessional certificate that I may or may not complete. 

Staying home an extra year really took a toll on my mental health. I saw people still going out and having fun amidst the pandemic while I was just sitting at home in front of a computer screen pretty much all day. 

However, I realized that I’d also be as miserable staying at home as I would have been had I gone to Eastern. 

From what I understand, there wasn’t much going on around campus and the staff at the News was small. And I also didn’t want to risk getting sick while paying 20 some thousand dollars to only go to in-person classes (with half of my class) two days a week. 

On the one hand, I’m glad I was not alone in this feeling, but at the same time, there are still lingering effects from me deciding to take a gap year in June 2020. 

When I tell other students I took a gap year for the 2020-2021 school year, they say something along the lines of “That was really smart,” or “I should have done that,” And while I’m glad I did, I still feel some frustrating after effects from doing so. 

For example, I see lots of the people I graduated high school with post on Instagram that they graduated. 

I’m happy for them, I really am, but I want to graduate right now too. It’s almost depressing to me to watch these people graduate because I wanted and planned to walk across the stage this year too. 

I had so many goals and dreams that I wanted to achieve by May 2022, like graduating, getting a full time job at the library I used to work at, or moving out of my parents house. 

But I still have another year to go. 

While that’s okay and I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world, I feel like I’m missing out on something. 

I feel behind on my own life and I hate it. 

If you feel this way too, you made the right choice for you out of two bad options. We went with it, we survived and we’re doing great. 

I’m proud of us. 

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].