COLUMN: What would have happened?

Rob Le Cates

Katja Benz is a senior English major and can be reached at 581-2912 or [email protected].

Katja Benz, Columnist

Last night, instead of falling asleep, I was thinking about the future.  

I found out that I graduate at 10 a.m. on May 6. That made me wonder what would happen in the fourteen hours that I get stuck with before I go into Lantz and graduate.  

I wondered how I would get through the next four months without losing my sanity and not knowing what graduate school I’m going to next year.  

I also wondered what my last finals week at EIU would be like. 

I’m pretty sure four of my finals are online or take home, so it’s nice that I won’t have to go in person for that. 

But what happens with all the remaining things I would still have or want to do; I don’t know what to do.  

Last night, again instead of sleeping, I was reflecting on my college experience.  

I had wondered what I thought it would look like as an 18-year-old who was starting to take her Composition I class the last week of high school.  

What that looked like as I transitioned to being a full-time college student two months later to slowly being let down by the fact that the college experience I wanted wasn’t, and probably wouldn’t, come true.  

When you look at all of the college advice videos on how to decorate your dorm room, or how to make friends, or those Q&A videos that always asked if having a roommate was awful, you think and hope that’s going to be true.  

And then it isn’t.  

I am by no means saying that I dislike Eastern, or either of the two community colleges I went to, because I don’t. 

But I just always wonder what could, and would, have been different had I done things differently.  

Like what if I ended up living in Stevenston Hall instead of Thomas Hall my junior year?  

Would I have been able to make more friends with people my age, who had similar interests to me or were also transfer students?  

Would I have met my friends who lived in Thomas Hall that year, or would I have had completely different friends and not known that two friends that I love dearly existed?  

What resources would I have taken advantage of, or not taken advantage of? What would have been different? 

It’s hard to know, because it didn’t happen.  

I can say I wish things turned out differently than they did, because there’s nothing I can do now.  

I know that all I can do is learn from my experiences and channel them into whatever happens next for me.  

But I still wonder, like last night, what would have happened had my college experience been less of what it was and more of what it wasn’t or what I wanted it to be.  

Even though I’m extremely grateful that it turned out the way it did, I’ll always wonder ‘What would have happened if…?’ 

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.