Opinion | Save your college mementos

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

One of my favorite aspects when visiting museums is seeing the artifacts up close and personal. It’s a way for history to come alive.

Whether we know it or not, we all make and preserve our history too. You probably still own your first bicycle or first home run ball from little league. You may still have your first tooth or the jar of sand from the beach.

All of these mementos help tell your story. The same goes for college too. That is why you must save as many college mementos as you can.

We only attend college for a short time in our lives. It’s a stepping stone filled with great friends, advanced education, life experiences and an endless slew of memories. Why would we not save items from this period?

You may be asking yourself this: But what do we save? Well, anything. You just save all, or most, of the items that tell your college story.

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Take my mementos for example. Over the years, I’ve saved countless items from my college years. These include the VIP badge from the night I worked with Star Course when Beach Bunny performed at Foellinger, an old bowling pin from the Illini Union gifted to me from a friend in Block I, countless paper wristbands from bars and Illinois men’s basketball games and a business card of my academic adviser signed by Chancellor Robert Jones on the backside.

These items mean the world to me. When looking at them, they remind me of that special moment of my college life. It’s almost like a little time machine is connected to each piece.

These items and numerous more contribute to my story of the time I have spent at the University. Although my time is nearing an end, I will always look back at these items with a smile on my face.

Whether you keep anything from your time at the University or toss everything, you should retain the special items anyway. It’s a great way to preserve your time at the University and help tell your story — especially later in life when memories fade and the past becomes obscure.

Most importantly, it shows that your time at the University was worth it, that you made the right decision to attend. I know I did.

I plan to continue collecting mementos from my time at the University as long as I can. Who knows if they will ever go into a museum one day, but they’re part of my museum at home — one I will never grow tired of visiting.

Noah is a senior in Media.

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