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Oct 07 2016
by Jesse Plichta Kellar

Why It's OK Not to Have a 'Magic Moment'

By Jesse Plichta Kellar - Oct 07 2016

For some people, there's a magical, wonderful point at which they've decided, and just know, that the University of Whatever is the perfect school for them, and they want it to be for their home for the next four years. The stars have arranged, you hear fireworks and/or dramatic music in the background and you feel complete and at home. You can’t imagine going anywhere else and start mentally packing your bags.

Every tour guide at a school will talk about why the University of Whatever is their perfect school and how it all just made sense, and I guarantee that someone at orientation or move-in will say they “just knew.” For some people, there’s just this fantastic, beautiful moment in the space-time continuum where they have found their place and their people.

That’s the Magic Moment.

If you had this moment, I'm happy for you. I really, genuinely am and I don’t have any intent to ruin your magic or try and take away your enthusiasm. But this is for the people who haven’t experienced this moment.

I haven't had that moment when the universe magically aligns for me. I haven't stood by the fountains and thought, "Wow, I'm perfectly at home." I haven't looked around and realized that life is perfect where I am. I was initially a bit jealous of all those people who had Magic Moments. Why didn't I have one? Was something wrong on my end or did I choose the wrong school because I had more objective, less touchy-feely reasons?

I wasn't iffy about my school choice, and I really did think and know I'd made the correct decision for me. Because I was sure I had chosen the right school, I wondered if I wasn't having the correct college-related emotions. I was excited, I was happy, but I wasn't madly in love with my school.

I more or less came to peace with it after a tearful group of seniors made their going away speeches at a presentation my roommate and I attended. After the presentation, I made some comment about how they were all madly in love with the school, and my roommate said something about really liking, but not loving, our school.

And then I realized that I wasn't the only one who hadn't had a Magic Moment. This is when I first thought of the term "Magic Moment" for myself, and I had a really meaningful conversation with my roommate about it. The next day, I was wondering how common it was to not have that "love at first sight" for your school. I threw out the question to my friend group, and most people were in the same boat as me: they really like our school and it's totally growing on them, but they don't love it yet and they haven't had their Magic Moment either.

Many students need time for their school to grow on them. And that's OK. I really like my school. I want to be perfectly clear that I believe wholeheartedly that I chose correctly and that it's great for me here. My classes and professors are great, my roommate is pretty chill and I like the clubs I'm involved in. I can’t see myself anywhere else, and I don’t doubt that I’ve made the correct choice (for me).

I like my school. I don’t love it, but it’s growing on me. I’ve come to accept and enjoy its quirky traditions and I’m happy (well as can be) to wake up in the morning to go to classes. It’ll just take me time, and I’m sure that by my senior year I will be in love with it. Maybe it’ll continue to grow on me, or maybe I’ll have that Magic Moment. Maybe one day I'll be hanging out with my friends or taking notes and I'll realize I'm in the perfect place. Until then, I'm going to keep on with life, and maybe one day fall in love with my school.

It also consoled me that some students have it later on. One of the seniors who spoke at the event mentioned that "it all came together" her sophomore year (as opposed to most who of them had such an experience earlier). Just because you don't have a Magic Movement by the end of Welcome Week (or equivalent) doesn't mean you can't or won't have one.

Either way, it’s OK if you haven’t had a Magic Moment (yet), and you aren’t alone. It doesn’t mean that you chose the wrong school or that you don’t (or won’t) end up loving your school. It’s totally OK to need to adjust to your school, so don’t let everyone else's moment get you down.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Jesse Plichta Kellar - Longwood University

Jesse Plichta Kellar is an aspiring author and programmer. She has written two books ( and writes for her school's newspaper in college.

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