Last week, Chronicle Associate News Editor Katherine Rojas wrote a piece telling us that we can make it after graduation. Quinnipiac has definitely prepared its students, at least the ones I can vouch for, to become a part of the so-called “real world.”
I graduate in a few weeks, and people are always asking me if I am sad to be leaving Quinnipiac. We talk so much about the bubble that is our university, so I have always struggled to see what I would miss about that.
The bubble keeps us from caring how Hamden residents perceive our neighborhood behavior. It keeps us from taking on real responsibility, outside of completing some academic assignment. It, in short, allows us to be carefree.
It also keeps things in perspective. People on my Nicaragua trip talked at length about attempting to have their stateside lives mirror the attitudes of some Nicaraguans, to not let the little things get to them. This is fantastic advice for our time at Quinnipiac.
Upon leaving Quinnipiac, however, real stressors set in. I have student loans to start paying back or risk mounting interest. I have to find a job, an apartment, new friends.
The most important thing that the bubble has done for all of us is create the environment where many attempts are made at making a mostly level playing field. To get a budget from SGA, clubs have to be recognized for a year, attend a budget seminar, have their budget vetted by the finance committee and finally have it voted on by the General Board.
In the real world, you can have a company that allows users to take pseudo-retro photos, employs 13 people, has no real revenue stream, and two years later sell it for $1 billion (See: Katie O’Brien’s piece). That’s sickening for some history and English majors.
What I would like to warn people about, both seniors and underclassmen, is the reality of leaving Quinnipiac. I applied to three graduate programs. I got in at all three institutions, but was only offered any sort of merit-based financial aid from what I had considered my “reach school.” My “safe school” essentially said it would let me attend, but could not be bothered to help keep my student debt under the $100,000 mark.
I was reminded of a talk given by history professor Ronald Heiferman to the History Club last year. He told us that in applying to post-graduate programs, he got rejected from three state schools but accepted into three Ivy League ones.
I am only briefly sticking my head outside of our little bubble, and I’m already seeing how unfair things are looking.
While I have enjoyed my time here, we all realize that it is a finite existence. I am not sad to be leaving Quinnipiac, I am fulfilled and energized. I am excited and anticipatory. I am ready; so long as the real world does not involve 8 a.m.’s.
Wait; it does … every day? Missing parts of that bubble already.