In less than one month I will be graduating, but most of you reading this will have at least another year or more here at UNH. I have experienced a lot of different things during my time here and I think it would be only fair to use one of my last columns to share some helpful advice with you all.
I know what you might be thinking, “Why would we want to take advice from a buffoon of a student who may or may not drink too much.”
Well first of all, it is not a drinking problem until you graduate, so
the joke is on you. Secondly, and if you have not figured this out by
now you may need some language comprehension classes, but a lot of what I
have written over the years is in character, sarcastic and satire.
Well, other than the whole drinking stuff. That part is real. Anyways,
here is some of what I think is the best advice I have to offer.
If a professor ever tells you, “This is not a paper/assignment/project
that you can complete the night before it’s due” they are wrong. Just
about any assignment can be completed in “A” fashion the night and/or
early morning before it is due. Just do not make a habit of it or you
may develop insomnia. I cannot tell you how many times I turned in a
paper literally still warm from being freshly printed.
Try something new. Scratch that; try as many news things as you
possibly can. I never expected to write a blog or a newspaper column,
and I think that this turned out pretty well for me. Do not limit
yourself to your comfort zone. I know a lot of people will say this
about college, but I feel so many students still never step outside
their regular routines.
Try to dedicate one night or weekend a year to become your personal
ultimate college story. Everyone needs to graduate with his or her one
go-to story to share to close friends for the future. This does not need
to be a party or drinking story, rather it should be something that
would be unusual for your lifestyle.
Study abroad for a semester. Even doing one of the shorter summer or
J-term trips would be worth the experience and it is much cheaper than
traveling on your own. Not studying abroad for a semester is probably my
biggest regret about college. I have many friends who took advantage of
the opportunity and I know they are happy that they did. However, I
would not recommend doing it second semester senior year because you are
going to want to be in Durham with all of your closest friends for your
last few months of college.
Similar to the last one, another regret of mine is that I never took a
big road trip with a group of friends for spring break, winter break or
the summer. Sure, I took weekend trips to other colleges, but I would
have loved to take some type of road trip with my roommates.
Try to pile up at least one or two minors. I will be graduating with
three unfinished minors, in political science, English writing and
communications because I could never make up my mind or commit to
anything. I took more classes for my major than I needed, but part of
that was that there were so many interesting ones, I could not resist.
This one comes directly from personal experience, but I think it is
something everyone should do. Write on your own, outside of classes. I
do not mean to keep a journal or diary or to write personal essays or
poems. Just write. Keep track of funny things that happen to you or
things you see, write down ideas, thoughts or future goals. It will help
you stay organized, clear your mind and actually help reduce stress.
Take 10 or 15 minutes just to write, think and clear your mind. It will
pay off when it comes to studying or writing an essay because it will
help you focus on the task at hand.
Finally, when you are in my position and preparing to graduate, make
sure that you have as little regrets as possible. Make your own personal
college bucket list because you will be able to do things in college
that you will never be able to experience again. This may seem pretty
cliché, but it is true. Enjoy your time here, because it really does go
by faster than you expect.
Stay classy, not UMassy.