Adapt, explore and engage:
As traditions dictate, I’m supposed to use this space to dispense some sort of “seniorly” advice, to talk about the things that one realizes only upon completion of their education at Washington University. While I’ll certainly take a stab at trying, I might not be the best person for the job; I haven’t yet wrapped my mind around the idea that I’m finished here, and that I won’t be returning to this beautiful campus in August.
But, to avoid the tendency I have to go on and on about unimportant things, here goes my list of the three things that, in my opinion, each Wash. U. student needs to know:
One: All students should learn to become adaptable. This goes for any number of circumstances, from learning to deal with moving into a new room each year, to – as has happened to me – handling the curveballs life throws you at the last minute. As I write this, I consider May 19 to be my “black hole,” because after that date I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be doing. Full-time work? Columbia University? Yeah, I have no idea.
Four years ago, that uncertainty would have crushed me – I would have been an absolute wreck. Maybe it’s maturity or life experience, but I’m relatively okay with my open-ended future. And I’m fully aware that unexpected things happen all the time in life, and it is my hope that, upon graduating, all other students will have learned to be okay with adapting to unexpected, as well.
Two: Everyone should get out there and experience the St. Louis area – beyond downtown Clayton, the Loop and the Galleria. Did you know that in Collinsville, Illinois, a mere half hour drive from campus, you can find the world’s largest catsup bottle (their spelling, not mine)? Or that you can actually go skiing in Wildwood, a 35-minute drive down I-64 West? Just because St. Louis isn’t a college town of the caliber that Boston is, it doesn’t mean there aren’t cool, unique things around here, and every student should get off campus and see for him or herself.
These last few weeks – likely because I’ve been hyper-aware of the fact that I’m not going to be returning to St. Louis anytime soon – I’ve tried to take in as much as possible, and I wish I had another year to see the stuff I haven’t had time to yet. There are so many hidden gems in this area (fabulous concept restaurants, quirky bars, beautiful parks), that it’s a sin to miss out on them; let’s face it: most graduates don’t stay in St. Louis for very long, and many who leave don’t return for years.
And, finally, on to three: Everyone at Wash. U. should join the staff of Student Life. Okay, so maybe I’m not entirely serious with this one. I don’t really believe that the entire student body should – or should even want to – be a part of this paper. But if there’s one thing that’s defined my undergraduate career here, it’s the time I’ve spent at Student Life.
Those of you who know me know that I was the senior editor of Scene, the features section that takes up the back page every Monday. Each week, the Scene writers and editors would meet up on the Forty in Gregg’s seminar room to brainstorm and assign the upcoming week’s articles. This year, our group consisted of what I often referred to as “about seven girls and Willie,” and I honestly believe I have never laughed as hard in my entire life than I did at regularly Scene meetings. They were a highlight of my week, a fantastic study break, and I know I’ll likely never have as much fun with another group of people.
It’s so strange to think about not returning here next fall and, in a way, even stranger to think I’ve said my final goodbyes to the members of Scene. I will thoroughly miss our Tuesday evening meetings, as well as our end-of-the-semester dinners out, and the “extracurricular” trips Amanda Ogus and I took to Schnucks. I wish all the members of Scene, especially incoming senior editor, Erin Fults, the absolute best of luck.
Though, like I said, maybe Student Life isn’t the right group for everyone on this campus, but the notion can be expanded: everyone should join at least one group. Through involvement in any campus organization, you’re introduced to people you’d likely never come to know otherwise. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to know most of the people I’ve met through Student Life, and my college experience wouldn’t have been as great as it has been. I hope all the members of Scene – Felicia, Jessica, Amanda, Indu, Sarah, Erin, Willie, Archana and Meghan – know how much they’ve meant to me.
Popularity: 1% [?]