Five weeks. Five weeks is the amount of time I have left as a student at Elon University. There are seven months until I walk across the stage under the oaks with the rest of my class. At the start of this last semester, I anxiously started a countdown to Dec. 10. That is the date of my last and final exam, marking the end of my Elon career.

But after a whirlwind of a semester and watching the days pass quickly, I want to hit the brakes, roll down the windows and breathe in as much of Elon as I can get.

As I reflect on the past years spent strolling around the red brick pathways, I can’t help but smile at all of the quirky things that brought me joy.

Freshman year, it was sitting on the stoop outside of Brannock, soaking up the sun, playing sand volleyball and setting up my hammock for the first time.

Sophomore year brought about the incredible experience of working with Salvation Army through Elon Volunteers. That was also the year I fell in love with Belk Library, spending many nights doing more socializing than studying in my favorite spot on the first floor.

The fall of my junior year, I was abroad in Montpellier, France, but jumped right back into things in the spring. This is when my weekly breakfast at Skid’s began, and I was entranced by its genuine staff, authentic diner atmosphere and delicious food.

Elon brought many enticing events and places into my life, but what’s even better are the people it introduced me to. Relationships are what make these experiences we have so memorable.

I’m blessed to have lived with my roommate for all four years and to be a part of the welcoming and faith-filled Catholic Campus Ministry staff and community. There’s something special about being able to walk around campus and knowing that you’ll always see a friendly face.

All of this makes it sounds like living on my own and obtaining a bachelor’s degree were peaches and cream, and that’s absolutely not the case — just ask my roommates, who often hear my complaints of stress and anxiety stemming from various areas of my life. I have made more mistakes and faced more challenges than I ever imagined, but from every one came a lesson.

I have learned that there’s a delicate balance between work, play and relaxation. My eyes have been opened to the value of diversity, humility and mental health.

I’m thankful that these lessons shaped me and taught me how to live in this crazy world. These lessons are just as much part of why I loved these past four years as the easy moments.

The point of this column is to demonstrate all that encompasses a college career at Elon University. Everyone’s journey will be unique and tailored to who they are and what they enjoy.

To all of those who have more days, weeks, months or years left on this beautiful campus than I do, remember this: The days are long, but the years are short. Your four years will be over before you know it.

I encourage you to make every day count and to take advantage of this rare opportunity you have to learn inside and outside of the classroom, go on adventures, make mistakes, be a part of a community, value friendships and create memories.

Erin Robertson is president of Catholic Campus Ministries at Elon University.