A UI graduate’s goodbye: Advice you need to know

By Danielle Gaines

When I think of my time at the University of Illinois, I picture a big, mushed-up orange. In my time here, I feel I have squeezed out every last bit of fun, adventure, love, hate and hilarity from these Campustown streets. Then, I soaked in all of their juicy goodness!

Tonight, I will probably drive down Green Street for the last time, but I will be all smiles and no tears. All too often in today’s world, people take the “woe is me” attitude about life’s problems. Instead, I challenge you to embrace everything that comes at you for what it is: wacky, heartbreaking, hysterical, whatever.

Take the appropriate time to make decisions but be decisive in the end. Have “grown up” conversations, even if you don’t feel like it. There is no sense in letting a problem with a roommate or significant other fester because of silence. The fallout from any tough conversation will only make your relationship more durable. Having these conversations now will prepare you for your future – whatever future is in front of you.

Spend your time wisely. You will never regret time spent studying. Get to know the library. Read the books for your classes – most of the time they are actually interesting. Study for tests in advance, so you can actually sleep once in a while.

That being said, enjoy campus nightlife. Even if you have to schedule and color code it into your i-Book. Nights out are worth it – they are part of the college experience. Also make sure to never regret a night out; inevitably, things will happen that you would rather forget, but remembering them and sharing the stories time and time again over a cold beer with friends is much more fun.

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Make friends with your neighbors. Really, how sucky is it to find out your neighbor is super awesome when you keep running into each other in the hallway during move-out? There are so many benefits to befriending neighbors – you can plan loud events together, borrow a cup of sugar and you never have to watch a sporting event alone!

Love with no abandon. Enjoy every minute of your relationship with that special someone and you won’t regret it – regardless of the outcome. Cherish every minute as it passes and log the memories. Yes, it is clich‚d, but it is always better to have loved and lost.

Maintain an address book. Before you know it, you will be out of here and though you don’t think you will ever need or want to talk to the classmate who helped you cram for your Speech Communication final, they may be just the expert you need some day. Keep in touch with your roommates and co-workers – all of them. Befriend professors and University employees, they are great resources in times of need. When they help you through a hard time, make sure to thank them.

Eat well. “Letting yourself go” is something to be reserved for when you get really old – like 30. And remember to drink lots and lots of orange juice.