Being a senior at Radford University, I can feel graduation approaching a lot faster than I thought it would. With only three months and some change left until seniors do not have to step into a classroom again (unless you are going to graduate school or got an education degree), graduating students from all colleges should reflect on the four years you had at your soon to be alma mater. I am thankful for my time at Radford University and the lessons I have learned there, and I am sure most seniors feel the same about their university. Here are some things you might miss after walking across that stage in your graduation robes and into your terrifyingly uncertain future.
I know it may not seem like it now, but you will miss school. In order to graduate from undergrad, you had to have been in school for seventeen years if you count kindergarten (and hey, kindergarten was an important year for me, okay?). That means you are a scholar and have dedicated most of your life up to this point to academia. That is a lifestyle that will most likely stick with you the rest of your life. Hopefully college has instilled a life long relationship with learning and open-mindedness within you.
You will miss living with roommates when you graduate. I know you loners, introverts, and otherwise socially inept people are out there shaking your heads in disagreement (believe me, I know what you mean), but just think about it. I have never completely lived by myself and I am thankful for that. I can watch a scary movie and go to bed soundly knowing my roommates would help me fight the murderer or ghost that might try to attack us. Also, sharing the utility and internet bill so you do not have to pay the amount all by yourself is awesome! Having roommates has helped me stay social, because I am forced to be around people all the time. This may sound like it is a bad thing, but it has helped me come out of my shell and grow my communication skills. When I walk into my house, it is like an episode of “Friends” everyday. When we graduate, we are expected to have a place of our own…how am I going to watch horror movies then?!
Graduating seniors, you will miss the connections your university offers you. The professors I have met at Radford University have helped me become a successful student and have and will continue to support me throughout my academic and professional endeavors. I have been given the opportunity to present my research at conferences, to work one on one with professors in and outside the classroom, and to join clubs that have given me extremely valuable skills for the working world. Colleges have free gyms, libraries, health services, etc. that are usually not available anywhere else except a university. Seniors, you are really going to miss all of the resources available to you now, so take advantage of them before graduation!
Being at a college, you are surrounded by people in your age bracket who are educated and most likely interested in the same things you are. This is a privilege, because only around 30% of Americans are college educated. That means when you go out into the world, you may find that people may be harder to get along with because of their education level or their age, which will most likely cause them to have different opinions than you. Again, this is not a bad thing either. Differing opinions is what makes our society interesting. I am just saying that it is awesome to have conversations about gene flow and genetic drift with someone sitting in the dining hall beside me or to be able to argue about whether or not the 2003 US-Iraq conflict was justifiable with my twenty-something-year-old roommates over wine.
The experience of getting an undergraduate degree is like nothing else. I was fortunate enough to have been able to go to Radford University for a full four years. And like everyone else says, it went by so much faster than I thought it would. College is like real life with training wheels, and once you graduate those training wheels get ripped off and you are forced to ride life on your own efforts. So try to enjoy the things that after four years of undergrad may have become tiresome, because you will miss them when you graduate!
Published by Odyssey Online on Feb. 22, 2016