By: James Hogan ~Staff Writer~
I am now four weeks away from being a college graduate. In the last four years, I more or less grew up. I should be thanking the university for the incredible opportunity I have been given or thanking professors who have shaped me into being a thoughtful citizen, but my biggest thanks goes to this community and the people here, faculty and professors included, for helping me become independent and gaining some sense of what it is like to be self-sufficient.
But there are so many things I wish I had been told when I walked onto campus for Manresa. The stereotypical thing to say would be, “you will learn more outside of the classroom than you learn in it,” or something along those lines. And that might be true. You probably do a lot of learning on your own reading books and working on classwork outside of lectures. But most importantly, college is about more than just learning to be an accountant or a teacher. College is about learning how to be an adult, which is harder and scarier.
Life is amazing and beautiful. Grab it with two hands and hold on tight. College is a step toward being an adult and living your own life. Don’t half-ass it. Dive in head first – you will thank yourself later. We live in a fantastic city, despite what I usually say. Take advantage of it while you are here.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds. I am not advocating going out and ignoring classes, but make sure there is time for other things. College is maybe 25 percent classes (sorry, mom), 25 percent figuring out how to be an adult and 50 percent becoming who you are and who you are going to be forever. Try not to be afraid of it. This experience is one of a kind, and you have a short window of time. Live it up.
Of course it’s tempting to take a lazy day, and it is hard to deny that spending all afternoon in bed watching Shameless would be fabulous. But, in a few years, you will be a senior getting ready to pack up for one last time and bounce on out of here. Make some memories. Be one of those people who always talks about college being the golden years because you filled every day with excitement and interest.
So, do something today, just for fun. Go exploring, write a poem, try a backflip and just go for it. I remember spending a lot of days sitting around doing some classwork, napping and being lazy. That is one of my biggest regrets. I should have been outside, even if that meant just doing my classwork while sitting outside. I wish I had gotten out and seen new people and places.
As I am home for Easter, I realize that I never got out and explored Cincinnati. I know how to get downtown and get to OTR or the airport, but there are huge chunks of this city that I have never seen. That bums me out. Cincinnati really is a great city and a wonderful place to live – there are so many nooks and crannies to explore, from the hundreds of coffee shops to the parks all around town. There are endless possibilities, so get out there.
Of course, it is cliché, but your time here is going to go quickly. It will be over just when you think you have it figured out. So, make it count, enjoy yourself and hold on tight.