According to Webster's dictionary, nostalgia means "a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to some past period or irrecoverable condition". When asked about college, many graduates reminisce with a sense of nostalgia. The funny things about looking back is sometimes the smallest, most simple memories scream into the abyss of the so-called "college memories" folder in my mind. We should take pictures of such moments, perhaps as a way to feel big in the wide world by the vastness of our own memories. Not just for social media but to be able to nurture nostalgia one day. If I had captured snapshots of nostalgic moments in college, then they would have evoked memories such as the following: 1. A Friday on Campus As if looking back at a series of sepia prints, I see a tornado of backpacks among brick walls, printed-out lecture notes appearing as the latest fashion staple, and roaring group circles. Walking to my last class of the day on a late Friday afternoon, the sun dances on my skin as the Friday feeling builds inside of me like an inflating balloon about to burst. The first warm day of the semester graces the campus and one thing's on everyone's mind: spring is here. You can see it in the way people skip down the sidewalks. You can hear it in the way people talk. You can smell a freshness in the air that dusts away the brutal complaints cried out the past few months of coldness. You can feel it in the palpable oneness of the students. Music blares out the speakers of fraternities. Rowdy guys in t-shirts and shorts are either sipping beers or throwing a ball around. It seems their weekend has already started. Well, actually it started as soon as 9am when I heard the speakers chanting the lyrics, "my girl wants to party all the time, party all the time, party all the tiiime", before entering the library. I think that little bit could be their motto. Beep beep. "Happy Friday!" a bunch of girls packed into a compact car shout out the window. Only one more class, I tell myself, although every cell in my body refuses to sit in the gray computer lab and work on a statistics assignment for a whole hour. After turning my assignment in and bolting out the door, my soul dances, floating above each "have a good weekend" exchanged around me, feeling lighter knowing the weekend has finally arrived. 2. A Beloved Study Spot A quiet place to study on a Monday serves as a nice retreat from the beer-littered lawns and people raving about their bumpin' weekend or whatever the college kids say. People raving about their "man that's sick dude"-weekend. People talking about getting trashed and having to walk their overly drunk roommate back to the dorm. Based on personal experience, it's not the best background noise for studying kinetic energy. Sinking into a cozy cafe chair, I can dig into my science textbook uninterrupted. Sometimes the background chatter comes from wannabe philosophers. "Why is this important?". What a great diversion from earlier discussions. Of course, I can tune it out and focus on my work. As usual, I savor my safe haven of note-taking and productive energy thanks to the sea of students studying around me. 3. A Fun Club Activity After class, I find my roommate sitting atop the steps of the tiny front porch while jotting some notes down. "What are you studying?" I ask her. "Oh just organizing my French notes." "That's funny," I reply, "I was actually going to ask you if you wanted to come to the French club party tonight." She squeals, "Oooh!!! I would love to! Let me get ready." Cue the French music. We go inside along with the sound of pre-party entertainment playing from her iPhone, and she announces that she has the perfect shirt, a striped shirt with the word Ibiza, known for its European nightclubs. Then, we walk about 10 minutes through campus to the small party where we enjoy some finger foods and a glass of wine while chatting and taking turns choosing the music. "Did you know she's a good dancer?" my roommate puts me on the spot while twirling her wine. Laughing, I awkwardly shake my hips a few seconds to the beat of the foreign song and mention that we both do swing dancing together. The variety of college activities facilitated the process of connecting with people. Making connections was so much easier. I took this luxury for granted. Looking back is like steeping a green tea as memories diffuse out of our brains, spreading like tea aroma. After a few minutes, there's a warm cup of happiness. If steeped too long, there's a bitter after-taste. Time frames can be recalled by music, smells, pictures, and even the power of your own mind. According to Scientific American, a healthy dose of nostalgia provides an increase in self esteem, sense of purpose, optimism, and ability to cope with obstacles. However, there's no reason to fixate on the past, neglecting to see that the present could be equally cherished. What are you nostalgic about?
It all started when I finished high school. At that time, I did not have a concrete plan of what I should do ; I just studied well so i can study medicine in the UK. When I look back now, lots of things led to me being here. In 2015, after graduating high school I started contacting universities in UK ,but to no avail and time just flew by; one year passed while trying in all possible ways to study medicine there until a staff member of a certain university told me frankly it's hard to be accepted in medicine in UK and it was extremely expensive for me as well .A year passed by which was devastating because I had this thought that I should apply right after high school like all other students ingrained in my mind. I started to think differently that I wanted to be satisfied with what I am doing, feeling fulfillment by helping others. Something that by the end of my life makes me think like ‘yes I've spent 100000 hours doing this job' so I decided to study medicine in turkey and I became even more confident about what I want; I applied to a university and was accepted ,but then my father had a financial problem so later by the help of my mother I applied in another university which i believe now is better. I was the type of kid who was very dependent on her parents' money to study in school and university; don't get me wrong I am not spoiled or anything i was just raised like that; i was young after all and I was never pushed to the edge as now to start working and earning my own money ,to stand on my own two legs. I always wanted to be independent financially ,but not like this; I had a robotic way of thinking of getting my degree first then start to depend on myself. After graduating from school, I took two gap years, two years of anyone's most precious time “youth”. When I finally started university I was 21 by then, the emotions I went through those two years were horrible; I was really depressed seeing everyone from school going to universities except me; it left a huge impact on my personality, for some people this might look trivial ,but for me it was my future; it was everything on stake simply because there was no other way for me to study medicine unless i travel abroad and to study medicine in a private university which is not cheap. I started thinking will i even start studying in a university; I did not want to study in my country because that would mean I'll just study business and stay in my shell. I wanted to travel and experience everything that comes with traveling from depending solely on my self to having new friends, new encounters, meeting people with different views on life from different cultures which eventually happened. In my teens, I used to watch lots of Turkish dramas which made me want to learn Turkish language and go to Turkey as a tourist ,but never thought of coming here as a student. In the two years, I had taken a Turkish language course; it was a nice experience to learn Turkish which helped me later on when I decided to go to Turkey. In 2017, I finally started university and yes my financial problem was not yet solved not even till now, but somehow the ship sailed although I still have debts to my university. Now I should be in 3rd year, but that's still vague because my financial problem got worse; it's this year that I started to think out of the box when the pressure inside was too much for me to handle. It's these kinds of situations that actually make us who we are and know how to tackle our problems. This summer because of the pressure of the makeup exam which if I failed would mean I lost another year and the money problem; I had decided to start working already.One thing led to the other; in my gap year I used to read comics and novels so I thought why not start writing and publishing a novel online myself; I started entering contests such as this one and I also started my own comic with a collaboration with a comic artist which I hope will be published soon. Yes, I accept what is happening with me, but that doesn't mean I should give up; It only means I should try harder until I get that degree. Indeed moving to another country now after I settled here is not easy furthermore it was hard for me to be emotionally stable because as much as I wanted to travel abroad, in my first year reality hit me hard and I started missing my family and I even regretted coming to Turkey ; I was very depressed, but that all subsided now; I became more independent; I have friends who stood beside me and made me feel as if they were my second family here. As I am writing this ; it strikes me how much I've changed through these last couple of years into a mature, strong-willed woman from just an indecisive high school girl, so if someone is reading this who went through a bad experience don't worry, you're not alone and always remember it's all for your best because believe me you will flourish into something really beautiful and remember everything happens for a reason.
Someone once told me that you're not an alcoholic until you graduate. We heard this and laughed while binge drinking over the weekend on a rooftop bar, sipping our fruity cocktails and thinking nothing of it. I guess that's the beauty of the phrase, right? We can enjoy the irony as we attempt to destroy our livers, following what we presume is what we are supposed to do as students. Down it, fresher! I can't say that I'm not guilty in this cycle of drinking. Hell, I make my own wine in my closet and am sipping a gin and lemonade as I write this. I'm not as heavy of a drinker as I used to be, partially due to money and a higher standard of alcohol, but also due to working in the morning. I do have a beer everyone once and a while when dragged out to a social event, but not at the levels my peers were chugging back tequila shots faster than their stomachs could bring it back up. It's not fun being the most sober person in the room, and maybe that's a reason why we do it, in silent competition with one another. Or we know that the most sober of us is the one who has to take care of the most drunk one and spends their night in the hospital as their friend gets their stomach pumped. On the other hand, maybe it's the ever-depreciating mental state of the country's youth. I remember living with several other STEM students my first year at university, and when I was stress crying in my room, questioning my ability to carry on, I was told to drink. I liked the way it felt, just enough to calm me down. Relax, enjoy a glass of wine (preferably with a bath and a good book) and breathe. But my fellow students can't go a day without drinking something. Chugging cider after cider, shot after shot. Doesn't matter the day, or the plans for tomorrow. It's about living in the now. I always joke about being an alcoholic when people see my beer fridge in my room, but the number of cans rarely change. I know a girl who pours 10 shots or more in her drink, or as she puts it "until I can taste it," and assumes its four. I think it comes down to the culture, which is probably where the saying comes from. University students drink and study. We're young, we don't get hangovers. But I find it really sad. I'm not against drinking, but I am when you get to the point where you're belligerent and blackout. Moderation is key, but I fear many of us won't get to that point. Have fun in university, enjoy hanging out with friends. This is the only time your life will be like this. I just can't help but feel sorry for the girl who'd rather spend hundreds of dollars on cheap booze than more than $30 a month on food. The girl who talks constantly about wanting to travel, but would rather have that $50 case of beer every week. But hey, it's only alcoholism if we're graduated.
It's never too late to study, these words have changed my life. This year I was had to graduate from the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, but no. Now I study only in the second year. Why? Let's find out about it from my essay. In 2013, I graduated from high school. The 16-year-old girl had to take a serious step in choosing a profession. Without thinking twice, I went to the exams at the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University and passed. It was a Natural Science faculty, a department of Biology. My scores on the results of the exams were enough by this faculty so I had to stay. I did not know Turkish and therefore had to study in the preparatory course. I wanted to study at the Faculty of Communication, in the department of journalism and cinema. After the preparatory course, I went to the exam again, to change the faculty to the one that I liked. Not everything was so easy. I did not have 1 point to pass. This university have free education and that times were difficult for my parents, they did not have enough finance to pay for my studies, so I stayed. Study has begun. At first I was interested in Botany, Zoology, Cytology. I studied well. But deep down inside, there was something wrong. After the first year I again went to the exam to change the faculty. Can you imagine, I again failed this exam. But I worked hard. This time I did not have 0.01 points to pass. Then I learned that such a small numeral can affect your life. I continued to study, because I could not leave. In the second year, lessons about Anatomy, Histology and etc. began. Once, on the Internet, I stumbled upon the phrase: It's never too late to study. On the same day we had a laboratory work. We cut the hamster and looked at the insides. I cried inside when the hamster was put to sleep and then it was cut. Returning home, I finally decided to leave and study there where I like. But in the middle of the semester it was impossible to change the faculty. In the second year there is a program that sends to study in Turkey for free. I submitted the documents with the hope that in another country it might be more interesting to study. I continued to study until the end of the semester. Although I did not like it, I was the first in the rating for studying in the group. The exam time set in again. These exams were held in the summer. And summer in Kyrgyzstan is very hot. This time I thought that if I do not pass the exam, I will not study anymore. I went to the exam, wrote everything I knew and went out. The results were to be known in 3 days. Last times when I did not pass, I did not pass from the first round and from the second. And this time I did not pass from the first round. The last hope was for the second round. With great hope that I will go to my favorite faculty I submitted for the second round. Sincere faith and hope, the hard work, strength of God and the energy of the universe helped me. I passed the exam! Yeah! I will never forget this moment when I stood with tears and looked at my name which was on the list of those who passed. My dream has come true. And in the evening of the same day a letter from the University of Turkey came to the my post. I also passed there. Everything goodness was on my side. Before me was a very difficult choice: to go to Turkey or to stay in Kyrgyzstan and study at my favorite faculty, but start with first year. Guess which choice I made? Of course, I chose the second. Two years have passed since that happy moment. Now I'm studying in the department of journalism and cinema. I shoot short films, write interesting articles and take photographs. I like what I do. This internal energy helps me win at many media competitions in our country. I do not regret, that I have lost so much time. This experience has taught me that everything happens at the right time and in the right place. The main thing is to believe and work. Yes, not always your goals and dreams are achieved, but this should not break you. If now you have the same difficult choice to learn or not, choose study in the field that is interesting to you. After all, you must dedicate your life to this. We always have the opportunity to choose what is interesting to us. In Kyrgyzstan it is accepted, that pupil must to enter at the university after graduating from school. If your child after school could not enroll in the university, this is considered a shameful fact in the Kyrgyz mentality. I hate thıs fact. So I could not quit my study in the unloved department.Just because of respect for my parents, I stayed. Remember that it's never too late to find your way in this life and it's never too late to study. The only thing that reassured me when I was studying Bıology department was music. What happiness,that at the age of 6 I was sent to music school and I can play the violin. Every loss gave me an incentive to move forward. Playing compositions of great classical composers, I calmed down and knew that soon everything would be fine.