I could bore you all with a very detailed description of my time here, which would be similar to most students’ experiences. If you were interested in that, I’ll give you the synopsis:
I learned about myself. I grew up. I made friends and I made enemies. I drank hundreds of gallons of coffee and slept only when I could afford to. Now that that’s over, I’m going to focus on the more important part of my college career, which is the people who made me who I am today.
Thank you first to all of my professors who watched me grow up these past four years. I applaud you, because as I’m sure you’ve all found out by now, I don’t actually know what I’m doing.
A special thanks to Dr. Pu for always believing in me and laughing with me when the situation called for it. An 8 a.m. was not as painful because you taught it. A shout out goes to Dr. Keppel for challenging his students and making me laugh every class period. It will be difficult adjusting to starting my days without story time. Thanks to the retired Dr. Laux for never letting me get off easy, and reminding me that happiness is a worthy and attainable goal. SRU hasn’t been the same for me since you left it. To Dr. Harry, who gutted my writing and polished it into something clear and concise. Because of you, fact-errors have never been more evident- or more annoying.
Thank you to my family and friends who were patient and understanding when I had to leave to go handle a crisis. To my father, who showed me the value of work ethic and personal integrity. And to my mother, who taught me that a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. Another thank you goes to my four siblings, Jesse, Jenn, John and Julie, for making me proud everyday, and for keeping me on my toes so I didn’t slip from my position on the sibling totem pole.
To my boyfriend of almost 4 years, Mark (a.k.a “Clark”). You have been so patient and kind. Thank you for being more supportive than I deserved, I know this year wasn’t easy for either of us. There is no other person I would have rather grown up with, and you challenge my thinking every day. I am so proud of who you have become.
Where would I be without my Rocket baes? Nowhere. Thank you to the staff of 2015-2016 for making my last year such a memorable experience. I am so proud of each of you, and of everything we’ve done together, and I hope you all feel the same.
Thanks to last year’s CL editor, Katie, for being the best teammate I could’ve asked for, and who balanced me out so well. Thank you eternally to Shelby. Together we ranted and raved, laughed and cried. You never let me doubt myself for a minute, and I’m so grateful to call you my lylas.
A final thank you goes to Dr. “Fetty” Zeltner. This year has been the most challenging and educational of my entire college career, and I couldn’t have asked for a better adviser.
Thanks for being tough on me always, and complimentary only when I deserved it. You’ve helped me grow not only as a writer, but as a person. I’ll never forget my time here because of you.
Now that I’ve gotten all of those feelings out of the way (gross), I’m going to share the most important things I’ve learned during my time here.
1. It is not the world’s job to validate your existence.
Whatever your belief system, you were not put on this Earth to be coddled. The world does not care if you’re not happy, and the most surefire way to ensure your own dissatisfaction is to rely on other people to make you feel good about yourself. The best way to become an interesting person is to be interested.
2. No man is an island.
Pretending that you aren’t reliant upon anyone or anything is not only foolish, but also unrealistic. Be mindful and thank everyone who helped you become who you are today. You can’t cross a burned bridge.
3. How people treat you says more about them than it does about you.
As my favorite author, Mark Twain said, “Keep away from the people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel like you, too, can become great.”
4. You can learn something from everyone you meet.
Even if it’s how to not be a good person.
5. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn anything.
My failures were the most educational experience of my college career. As a person who fears failure more than any other thing in the world, I understand that this concept is scary. Embrace it. The bigger the failure, the more likely you are to remember the lesson.