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To Do or Not to Do?

posted Nov 5, 2019, 4:13 PM by Rebecca Hane
Senior year, the time most students either dread or mark on their calendars with a giant exclamation point. There are so many things to be excited about in regards to graduating. For the first time I’ll get to experience more freedom than I’ve ever had to do what I want, I’ll get to try out different careers and see what I like, and most importantly I won’t have homework anymore. I daydream about what I’m going to do with all of this free time I’ll have available. Yet there’s a cloud in the back of mind that hovers closer at the thought of graduation. 
More often than not you hear about students and their fear of graduating. They’re worried about getting a job, paying off their loans, and just “adulting” in general. While I certainly feel a level of fear about the unknown, I’m one of the lucky ones who thinks they have some grasp of what comes after. The melancholy is what gets to me. 

What do I mean by melancholy? I mean that I’m suddenly realizing all of the chances college gave me to experience new things and how many of those I may never get to have again. Now, this isn’t to say that I haven’t tried to make the most of my college experience. I’m part of a Latin dance club learning to bellydance, I’m in the chamber orchestra as concertmaster, and obviously I’m on the staff of Quiddity. Yet when I look back, there are so many things I’ve missed out on for one reason or another. 

This became apparent several weeks ago during the Global Field Study kick-off. For the past year I have been working to save up to go on the month-long trip to Ireland. That goal was the only thing getting me through the retail environment of the UPS Store where I worked. Yet when the time came to finally pull the trigger and make the deposit to secure myself in the course, I was suddenly faced with an awful dilemma. I could go to Ireland or I could put the several thousand I saved towards a lump-sum payment towards my loans. 

A war raged in my mind that kept me up for days. The practical side kept telling me that making a loan payment would be the responsible thing to do since that much debt is a lot to start life off with, and yet I kept dreaming of what a month in Ireland working on my writing would be like. Of course, my practical side also had to be a traitor occasionally, telling me that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I’ll never have again which made it all the more confusing and difficult. I can spoil the story for you and tell you that I put that deposit in to go to Ireland. 

This decision has taught me a really important lesson that I wish I had learned earlier in college. Take advantage of every opportunity you can. I know this is cliche and you hear this all the time from recruiters and orientation leaders, but speaking from experience I can tell you that it is so vitally true. With my remaining semester I’m determined to try and grab every opportunity I can, whether that’s going to a workshop or getting another internship or even going to a random, fun event that I’ve never been to before. You never know when you’re going to have the chance to play bubble soccer or perform in an orchestral group or choreograph a dance performance. 

It’s never too late to start. If I can do it, so can you. Take the opportunities as they present themselves. Now go forth and experience something new!