Parting wisdom for the class of 2015
May 5, 2015
And there we have it: Just like that, May approached, and thousands more students are preparing for their departure from the University. Time flies when you’re having fun — and when you’re drowning in a deep, endless abyss of schoolwork that consumes four years of your life.
To echo something I said a few weeks ago, the dual emotions of pee-my-pants-with-excitement and pee-my-pants-with-fear looming over graduating seniors right now are undeniable. Regardless of which sentiment we fall under, many of us are scared to begin the next step.
But if I’ve learned anything while at the University, it’s to embrace those things that make you scared — that “butterflies in your stomach, sleepless nights, frantic phone calls to your mom, sweating bullets” kind of scared.
Being scared often means you’re doing something that takes you beyond your own realm of possibility. When you do something new or something you never thought you could do, you become a new version of yourself that was better than the one before.
Or sometimes when you do that thing, you absolutely flop and it’s completely embarrassing and you never do it again — but hey, you never know until you try, right?
I jest. Come on, guys, loosen up.
Regardless of what our different paths were while we were here, I know that all of us did something we were scared of these past four years: socially, academically or otherwise.
For most of us, the first day of freshman year was terrifying. It was that awkward time when we were just getting over the high that came with being arrogant, top-dog high school seniors to coping with being brand new, doe-eyed freshmen with iCards dangling around our necks by hideous lanyards.
We were thrust into cinder-block dorms with a new, equally scared roommate to share closet-sized quarters with.
On that note, I’d like to give a special shout-out to those of us stuck in the un-air-conditioned dorms — Where my Van Doren girls at?
But we learned how to branch out, meet new people and join organizations, leading to some of our best college experiences.
For those who rushed a house in the Greek community, that was probably scary, as well — in fact, I was so overwhelmed by the idea of hundreds of energetic, smiling, chanting, clapping girls that I avoided the ordeal altogether. Greek life takes a level of social courage I certainly don’t have.
But, again, whatever we did, whatever made us scared while we were here got us to this point. Hopefully, it even paved the way for us to enter our post-grad plans and go into a career path we want to continue to pursue. If it didn’t, I send you a warm “welcome back” to your parents’ house in the middle of suburbia.
In all seriousness though, I genuinely believe I met people here with such passion for what they do, that they will go out and change the world in some way, shape or form. And I greatly look forward to that, because our world definitely needs changing. These people are some of the same ones who are scared about starting this next chapter of life — but I mean, come on, changing the world is a lot of pressure — they have reason to be scared.
The future aside, today we are here, the class of 2015, preparing for our graduation from this particular chapter of life.
We’ve put in hours upon hours of work to get to this point — and probably an equal amount of hours hanging out at some of our finest, yet completely ratchet, campus bar establishments.
But my moral of this particular story: Keep doing things that make you scared and keep finding out more about yourself during the process. The experience of college is an absolute privilege and we were fortunate to have it.
Our time at the University is only one caramel-almond cluster in the box of chocolates that is life, and we have several more dark chocolate truffles and vanilla buttercreams to go — thank you, Forrest, for the universal analogy.
So to my fellow 2015 graduates, I give each and every one of you a hearty and thunderous high-five, and as a final piece of advice, something my previous bosses have continuously reminded me, “Don’t screw up.”
Nicki is a senior in Media. [email protected]