COLUMN: I know the best is yet to come

Rob Le Cates

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

Katja Benz, Columnist

I, like everybody else on the planet, have a lot of feelings about a lot of things all at once.  

Unlike a lot of other people, I sometimes take more time to process or work through these emotions. Unfortunately, that is for reasons out of my control.  

Before I continue, I would like to mention that I know many things are up in the air right now. Many people who read this may feel the same way I do, and that is okay. There are a wide variety of resources available if you need them.  

One of the things that I have been feeling lately is behind. I am presently 23, so in theory, I should have graduated from Eastern last year. The reason I did not is simple: the pandemic happened, and I did not want to pay 20 some thousand dollars to sit in a dorm room all day and do nothing.  

Because of the gap year I took, I feel like everyone my age got ahead of me in their lives and I did not. While in a way, that is true, I feel like I am spending a lot of time attempting to catch up to my same-aged peers because I feel so behind.  

I feel like I have accomplished so little in comparison to both my peers and where I wanted to be at this point in my life.   

I know that everything happens for a reason, but I still cannot help but wonder why I put in all this work. All of this work to keep up with my peers. Whether it was self-work after a breakup or completing assignments in hopes of getting a good grade in the course to boost my GPA, I never felt like I was doing enough to measure up to my peers.  

Despite knowing the above statement, I will always wonder where I went wrong in comparison to where I wanted to be in life. I wanted and worked hard for so many things that did not end up happening, and I feel like so many of my peers are where I want to be in life.  

These comparisons will never make me feel better, but in a way, I feel like I cannot stop myself from doing so. I know I have earned things, but I also know that these things come in different ways for different people because life is different for everyone.  

With everything going on right now, I also feel grateful. Had things not turned out the way they did, I would not have met the people I met, gotten the experiences or opportunities I received, or made all the friends I did.  

Had I come the first time I transferred, I would have probably not joined the staff at The News, which is a staff I will be eternally amazed by and thankful for. I would also probably have gotten really good at giving virtual tours instead of in-person ones (in-person is always better).  

Despite feeling lost and grateful, I also feel hopeful for what the future holds. While the future is scary, I know the best is yet to come.  

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