Well kids, I think Drake said it best when he said “started from the bottom now we here.”
Somehow I made it from being an awkward, overeager teenager to being a slightly less awkward, and still overeager twenty-two-year-old. Let me tell ya, it was a wild ride.
I think I would be doing you lovely readers (hopefully some of you are students) a disservice if I didn’t let you in on some frivolous wisdom of a soon-to-be-graduate.
When you’re in college people will tell you things like “it’s the best four years of your life,” or “you’ll become a different person,” or my favorite, “it’ll go by faster than you think.”
That last one is definitely true, but I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss some less talked about advice.
For those of you out there who happen to pick up this paper and by some miracle read through a farewell column written by someone you don’t know, my advice to you is this: if you have the chance to go abroad, do it.
That is my number one piece of advice for college students. You will never regret taking that leap.
Well, you know my advice now, so what’s more to know? Well, read on.
It’s finals week. For those of you who are going to go to bed tonight with work unfinished and the mindset of “I’ll finish it tomorrow,” you’ve already lost.
If you’re one of those people who plans out how much work you have to do per day to get a paper or a project done by a certain date, stop it.
I tried that for several years, then found it just enabled me to guiltily watch Netflix while saying to myself “well if I do three pages in my paper tomorrow instead of the prescribed two I’ll still be on track.” It never works.
You and I both know you’re going to be up the night before, in the library, funneling coffee into your stomach wondering how you let yourself get here again.
Speaking of letting yourself get here again, one day you’re going to be sipping a cup of coffee or a red bull and you’ll suddenly think to yourself, “is this my third or fourth?”
If you become so addicted to caffeine that you wonder how you survived high school without it, don’t fret, we’ve all been there. Hell, I’m still there.
No, you don’t need help, but you might need a liver detox.
My next bit of advice: just do the damn thing.
Not to be confused with the Nike slogan, hopefully this version of the trademarked phrase will register with some of my fellow millennials.
Somehow, during my college career I was able to take a university-sponsored spring break trip to Vienna and Prague, study abroad in Northern Ireland and South Africa, and become the news editor of this thing in your hands.
If I ever stopped to over-analyze the decisions I made during my college career, I guarantee you it wouldn’t have been as exciting.
Now I’ll get a bit more serious.
Sure, my classes honed a lot of my academic skills, but I’ll be honest with you, the majority of my growth has been a result of the experiences I’ve had outside the classroom.
Don’t get me wrong, the English faculty I’ve had have made me a better thinker, they’ve helped me solidify my opinions, and they’ve made me experts at critical analysis. I’m so grateful I chose UNCG because of a handful of specific professors.
In the end, however, being the news editor has taught me about leadership and how to be neurotic but professional.
Studying abroad taught me how to be a more enthusiastic, inquisitive global citizen.
Volunteering taught me how to be more empathetic and appreciative.
On Friday I will be walking across a stage where I will be handed what I can only assume will be an empty folder (stupid summer classes), then the real fun begins.
The things I’ve learned at UNCG will undoubtedly serve me endlessly post-graduation. From leadership, to cultural awareness, to running somewhere while taking off a jacket all while holding an armful of miscellaneous things, I will forever be in UNCG’s debt for what I have learned here (no really, I might be in debt forever).
So UNCG, I thank you. UNCG Bookstore, please buy my books back as your graduation present to me.