‘Don’t forget to look forward’


Dear seniors,

On May 17, you,along with 11,000 of your peers, will “turn the tassels,” throw your caps into the air and take one last picture by the (now bronze) Alma Mater statue. Although entering the “real world” may seem daunting, there’s no doubt that the next few years will bring with them many opportunities for growth and exploration. 

With all of the scattered thoughts that are running through your mind right now (deciding whether to begin a job or internship, attend grad school, or spend a few nights on the couch at La Casa de Mom and Dad, for example), I encourage you to take some time out of the next couple weeks to reflect on your experience here at Illinois. 

Remember all your firsts. The first time you walked into a Six-Pack dorm room and realized it was the size of a large closet. The first time you received an “A” on a college exam. The first frat party you ever attended (Okay, maybe try to forget that one).

But, more importantly, remember the relationships you’ve made here. The mentorship created with the professor who tutored you after class when you didn’t understand the material. The friendship you have with the girl who was “just another member of your RSO,” but whom you now call your best friend. The respect you’ve gained for your freshman-year roommate (after all, it doesn’t take just anyone to put up with your crazy living habits). The relief you feel when you walk into Espresso Royale and see the barista who always smiles and now knows your “usual.”

And, while you are remembering, don’t forget to look forward. Check off the last few items on your bucket list. Have dinner with a friend whom you haven’t seen in years. Explore the areas outside campus by going to a show at the Art Theatre or trying the burnt ends at Black Dog (Hurry, they sell out fast!). Have one last picnic on the Quad. Make the most out of your last couple weeks at this University. Then, you’re off to bigger and better things! 

Congratulations, class of 2014.

Emma can be reached at [email protected]