I have no idea what to title this

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I think it’s a pretty common practice for others to assume that seniors are nothing but stoked beyond belief to get out of here. It seems I’m constantly met with things like “You’re about to graduate! I bet you’re so freaking excited!”

Sure, I feel pretty stoked. Thing is, it’s a whole lot more than that. If I was looking at my final academic year as a sort of recipe, it’d be comprised of the following: A dash of panic, a generous serving of apathy, a few healthy cups of nostalgia, and just a pinch of success. And beer.

Still, there’s no need to dwell on that because it’s been one hell of a ride.

I made a promise to myself before starting here at Maryville College. In light of my incredibly lackluster high school career, one devoid of extracurricular involvement or volunteer service, I swore to make the most of every second I had at this school.

In that regard, I think I can safely kick my feet up and pat myself on the back as I close the book on this chapter of my life.

I’ve done just about everything I could have: Bonner has helped me achieve thousands of volunteer hours, study abroad programs allowed for two trips overseas, serving in SGA gave me a taste for politics and parliamentary procedure, and I was even crowned homecoming king for a day.

More than just boosting a resume, college has been a personal journey.

For many, college is simply school, but I think it ought to be an experience. Some likely graduate from MC with the exact same beliefs and values they entered with, and I honestly think there’s something sad about that.

See, there’s a whole side of college aside from textbooks and term papers. After you actually realize the value of an education, it is important to utilize that outside the classroom.

Take what you know and question your beliefs; you may alter them or change them entirely, but you’ll be happier for it in the end. Allow yourself to be open and fluid, and let your passions bloom.

I think that may be what they mean by “stretch your mind.”

If anyone reading this is in want of an old timer’s advice, I’d tell you this: utilize the time you have here. Time is incredibly cruel and tricky; the idea of thesis and comps may seem like an eternity away, but a blink of the eye proves they came and went in a second.

Don’t sit in your room and waste the afternoon away, get out and walk around campus.

Maybe you’re solo and maybe it’s aimless, but you’ll always find something to do. Force yourself to those social gatherings even if you feel shy; some of the best friendships I’ve ever had were made in this manner.

Make yourself be a part of this campus. You will never love something if you don’t put a little effort into it.

For anyone reading this that ever played a part in this beautiful little play, I thank you for your role. Some were heroes, others were villains, but you each served a purpose in my journey. We all have our own road to travel, but none of us really go it alone.

Maryville College is much more than a pretty campus with historic halls. Maryville College is a cast of professors that possess true passions (and maybe a hint of genius). Maryville College is a group of people that make the late nights, panic attacks and bad exam grades worth it. Maryville College is what you make it, and I chose to make it the best time of my life.

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