Graduating editor’s farewell
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
Someone told me when I was 18 that college is the time in life when you have the most freedom coupled with the least amount of responsibility. With graduation less than two weeks away, I’m realizing I will probably never again get to live life the same way I have been for the past four years.
Gone will be the days when your closest friends live within walking distance and almost never lock their apartment doors.
Gone will be the days when it’s necessary and possible to go to the lake every time the weather permits, which is the majority of days in both semesters.
And gone will be the days when the primary goal is to learn and be challenged to think and grow.
Sure, I will miss some aspects about college, but there are so many I’ve learned the past four years that need to be shared with those who haven’t yet graduated.
Make Belton home. This entails a few things.
Become a member of and get deeply involved in a local church. You will live in this area for the next several years; get to know families who live, work, worship and serve here. It’s incredible how much God taught me from my seemingly short time at FBC Temple.
I learned what it means to love the church, not a worship style or a preacher or a small group but what it means to love the institution of the church despite its faults and failures.
Seek out people to invest in your life for personal and professional matters. Many people have been incredibly successful at life who have come before you. Ask them to share their wisdom.
I was lucky to have church people adopt me as their foster college child. Having a home in the area to escape to for sleep or studying and adults who care about what’s going on in your life are invaluable.
I also had a couple of great supervisors for my work study jobs who challenged my skills and talents because they knew I was capable of more.
Spend weekends in town. Though the Belton/Temple area might be laughable compared to where you grew up, this is where you live now, and it has a lot to offer if you’re willing to give it a chance.
Be involved in campus activities, but don’t overdo it. College events are fun, but it is crucial to get career experience before you graduate.
Get out of your comfort zone with what you do and who you are with. Some of my favorite memories are from times when I tried something I had never done before. It’s OK to be uncomfortable every once in a while; you’ll be a better person because of it.
Surround yourself with solid people you respect but whom you don’t have everything in common with. Having friends who are different from you is one of the best parts of college.
Read books. No matter what your major is, literature should be important to you. It’s entertaining, offers escape and reflects the ideas of society in an eloquent way. Literature offers a way to keep learning just for the sake of learning. Books dive deeper into emotion, ideas, description and narrative than movies or TV shows ever will.
Cook with your friends. Eating food that you make is so much more fun than eating out. Plus, you get to experiment and learn new recipes from each other.
Care about your classes. Someone is teaching each class for a specific reason, and it’s not just for the fun of it or to torture students.
Also, whether you are interested in the topic of a class or not, you have the opportunity to study at a collegiate level, which the majority of the people in the world will never get the chance to do.
College is really about finding a balance between having fun and working hard.
If you get that balance right, you will leave with four years’ worth of incredible memories and the experience and skills you need to be successful.