It’s that time of year again. Essays that have been put off are beckoning from the depths of my backpack. I can smell the iced tea and lemonade in the air. Summer is just a few rock skips away.
And it’s commencement. A time of goodbyes, tears, and new beginnings.
You can listen to someone say four years goes by quick, but that doesn’t ring truer until you’re signing your application for graduation. It seems like just last week I was learning my first marching routines and taking placement exams. Those days have passed. It’s now time to put on my big boy pants.
I could sit here and praise Adrian College for all it’s done for me over the past eight semesters, but you’d get bored after the first paragraph. Instead, I can think of no better way to say farewell than to offer a few bits of advice.
AC was founded on tradition; for that tradition to continue, it’s important to keep instilling the same knowledge in future generations. So, without further ado, here are Skyler’s seven stupendous suggestions:
1. Do everything you might regret later. College is about learning from your mistakes. In these four years, you should be growing as an adult, making your own decisions, and moving forward. A word of caution: don’t make this an umbrella phrase to justify what you did last night.
2. Don’t look back. You choose who you hang out with, the grades you make, and what you’re doing this weekend. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. If you’re having trouble getting that ex off of your mind, don’t turn around. Focus on the path ahead.
3. Live on campus. This is mostly directed at commuters. You don’t really get the full “college experience” being away from campus. Not only do you have more self-responsibilities here, you also develop lifelong friendships.
4. Step outside your normal boundaries. This campus has a lot to offer. Over 80 student organizations. Over 25 sports teams. Every time you check your email, it’s flooded with messages about upcoming events. Check them out. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Become a culturist now before you graduate and become best friends with your couch.
5. Be who you are. This is a liberal arts institution, founded on personal freedoms. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. Let others know what you think and how you feel. Chances are you’ll feel 100 times better if you let it out, rather than keep it in.
6. Stick to your commitments. We’re all here to get a sound education. Or to play a collegiate sport. Or simply because we want to get a good job. In any case, you know your priorities. Keep them and you’ll get the most out of your time here.
7. Have fun. If you’ve ignored everything else I’ve said, pay attention to this. We’re in college. It’s the best four years of your life. But it’s up to you to make it that way. Join a fraternity or sorority. Win a conference championship. Try out for a play. And go out on the weekends. You’ll only have as much fun here as you want to, so give yourself some flexibility.
Look, I’m not here to tell you what to do and what not to do. This is your college experience. Make it count because once these four years are over, it’s the beginning of your true adult life.
So sit back and have a few cold brews if you want. Ace all of your classes if you want. Change your major once or twice if you feel up to it. But always make sure you have fun doing it.
As the movie “Blow” states, “May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face. And may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.”
Goodbye, AC. Goodbye, College World. I’ll always remember my time here.