For seniors, the end is near. This knowledge, for many, conjures up a slew of conflicting feelings. It is both exciting and scary. It can’t come fast enough, and yet it is coming too soon. And, possibly the worst thing of all: everyone feels so old.
For me, the end of my collegiate career begs one question: did I actually accomplish anything? I passed all of my classes (many just by going through the motions and giving my teachers what they wanted), made some friends, lost some friends, gained some experience and wasted some money. But I think I’ve finally realized something. Professionally, college is about that coveted piece of paper they hand you at the end. But personally, college is more about the experience than anything.
Everyone must hear the phrase “the college experience” at some point in his or her academic career. But what is really? In all honesty, it’s a lot of different things and means something different to every person. To some, it’s all about drinking. These are the people who seem to disappear after sophomore year. To others, it’s all about studying. These are the people who live in the library. But, to all incoming freshmen, my senior advice would be to find a healthy balance of the two.
I once read that college is about three things: good grades, a healthy social life and sleep. But, unfortunately, no one can have all three. We all must choose two. So those people who decided to hang out with their friends all night and sleep all day tend to see their grades suffer. Those who choose to hang out with their friends and try to maintain their GPA tends to get less sleep. And those who sleep well and keep their grades up tend to have little to no social life.
Having gone through four years of college, I can say that this little piece of advice is totally and completely false. College is only about one thing: time management. Any student can sleep well, hang out with their friends and maintain a respectable GPA if they understand how to give each the time and attention it deserves. Despite being an academic endeavor, it isn’t all about academics. It’s about balance. In all honesty, time management is probably the most important life skill one can acquire.
I certainly understand that college can seem scary and exciting to freshmen. And I now know that outgoing seniors feel that same fear and excitement. So, even though we all came to Kutztown to get that degree, college is really about the experience. Make friends, go to parties, sleep as much as you can and study often. Because, while this time may seem horrible and stressful now, the college experience is unlike any other. Enjoy it while you can.
By Mark Rotondo