As May 21 creeps closer and us seniors prepare to don our caps and gowns for the rite of passage that is college commencement, I’ll be the first to readily admit my trepidation about the future. Six short weeks before graduation, I find myself straddling the thin line between excitement about future opportunities outside the confines of the QU bubble we’ve all come to know and love and a genuine longing that college could last forever. In an effort to perpetuate the good times and life changing opportunities I’ve experienced at Quinnipiac, I offer this reflection.
My senior editorial colleagues here at The Chronicle have used this space in recent weeks to eloquently reminisce about their memories from the Q, and now it’s my turn. It seems altogether fitting to offer my parting thoughts in the pages of a publication that I am proud to associate with, one that I firmly believe has served the campus community well in my four years as a staff member.
My first Quinnipiac memory was a great one-that of the 2002 Freshman Induction Ceremony-at which time it hit me that the entire world was at my fingertips, and college was simply a stepping stone to achieving my dreams. Clad in the very same graduation garb we will be outfitted in next month, I sat with my fellow freshmen-many of whom I now have the privilege of calling close friends-as the oppressive August heat beat down on the Quad, and university dignitaries welcomed the class of 2006.
The annual ceremony continued and while students in seats near me began to tune out the obligatory welcoming facts including that one-third of freshman males were named Michael, Matthew or Brian, and a good majority of 2002 freshmen hailed from outside Connecticut, for example, it hit me: I made the right choice. Quinnipiac was truly the place where I would be both challenged academically and allowed to grow socially.
The four years I’ve spent at QU have without a doubt flown by, and it seems as if it took me longer to select Quinnipiac as my first choice school and complete the application process than it did to actually attend.
Reflecting on my time here, I can say with certainty that my college experience would not have been as fulfilling had I not experienced dorm-style living. Not to mention how easy and convenient it was to roll out of bed on a Monday morning and head to class in your pajamas. Believe me when I say I speak from experience, as I almost overslept and missed my very first college class, Intro to News Writing at 8 a.m. The dorms are cramped and will become even more crowded, but nothing beats the dorm community. You’ll meet half your friends that way.
If I can impart one major morsel of wisdom to those who plan to call QU home in the future, it is to get involved and do so early in your college career. Involved on campus, involved in the community, involved in understanding where your future can lead. Your college experience will be thoroughly enriched and I guarantee that you’ll meet likeminded people who you’ll be sure to remember 20 years down the road. I know I sure will. (Thanks, Chronicle staffers, Emerging Leaders, Collaborative Leaders and Pep Band members!) Value the knowledge QU professors have to offer you, as they are some of the best in their fields and have worlds of experience to share if you simply listen.
As I prepare to walk across that stage next month to accept my diploma, I’ll always remember the good times and great memories as a Quinnipiac bobcat. Australian film director Baz Lurhmann said it best, offering tips for the future, in his 1999 song “Sunscreen”:
“Don’t worry about the future, or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”
“Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.”
“Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”
“Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.”
Thank you, QU, for making the past four years some of the best of my life.