One day you may find yourself deciding which classes you can take “as extras,” “for fun,” or “because you’ve already paid for them, why not soak up as many more skills as possible.” For me, this was the most real sign that I was nearing graduation.
While graduation is and has always been inevitable, It hasn’t ever felt as real as it did during registration last week. I was registering for my final semester of undergraduate studies, and I had some “free” credits to play with. I only had two classes left that I needed to fulfill all of my requirements. I considered taking yoga and social dance and maybe an art class? But then I started feeling… sentimental, and old… and decided I should take classes that are relevant and that will be beneficial to me and my future. I signed up for BUS 333: Marketing (an upper level – out of my major – course) and a four credit independent study to focus on my thesis in hopes of getting it approved for honors.
This week I had my first interview with a potential graduate school opportunity. I am still unsure if I will be actively continuing my education immediately after Alma or if I will be heading off to work and beginning to pay back my student loans. Either way, I will be furthering my knowledge and skill sets, and pushing myself to learn new things every step of the way.
That being said, I have exactly five months until I participate in one of the most monumental ceremonies of my life, and I have a million things I want to do before then. I look around me – at this school, in this city, with these people – have I done everything I wanted to do in my time here? What else can I do to add to my collection of Alma College memories?
I am an adventurer and love to know what is around me. I’ve done lots of drives and walks through Alma, Ithaca, Ellwell and Breckenridge, and Gratiot and Isabella counties. I’ve eaten at lot of family restaurants and shopped in some tiny little mom & pop, family dime stores. I’ve made connections throughout the local community and taken part in several community events.
I’ve joined many organizations, participated in them actively and gave all I could give, and then tried new organizations. I’ve worked several different jobs throughout my time at Alma – for Admissions, Communication and Marketing, Yearbook, IT and also Quicken Loans remotely. But are there still organizations that I wish I would’ve joined? (Not like I would have had the time!) Of course there are. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I would have liked to have done at Alma.
I’ve made friends. While my friend groups have changed from year to year, each and every one of them have meant the world to me and have helped me define who I am and who I want to be. I have surrounded myself with amazing women who are all driven, and passionate, and encouraged me in every endeavor I have found myself in. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and we’ve eaten far too much Pizza One in the last hours of the evening.
When I look back and reflect on all of this and my 3.5 years spent at Alma, it is hard to imagine that there could possibly be something I am missing, or something that I need to do before that day (you know, the one that starts with a G…) rolls around. But yet, I know once I leave here and move on to “big kid life” there are going to be so many things that I realize I wish I would have done.
Until then, I am making the most of every moment. I am letting myself hit snooze a second time, and letting myself spend another half hour with my friends instead of heading back to studying, and taking a break to go to that meeting that isn’t mandatory but will be fun. I will be pushing myself to do the little extra credits, and making close and personal connections with professors and classmates and building a stronger network to come back home to in Alma.