What needs to be on your end of the year checklist

I’m sitting in the final class of my senior capstone course. I listen to the professor dictate the items on our thesis checklist: “practice your presentation, remember to thank your panelists, eat, get plenty of rest and make time to have fun with the ones you’re close to.” The last one surprised me.

Amongst all of my planning for the future, I had forgotten to make time to spend with those people who have made the last four years of life so great.

The first semester of my time at Gannon felt like the beginning of the rest of my life. People I met in those first few months were the closest friends I’ve ever had because we had so many things in common and we all had this optimistic, enthusiastic outlook and sense of adventure to explore the new world we had just stumbled upon.

Those fine ladies and gentlemen are still the radiant souls I met in August 2011, but as coursework gets harder and impending adulthood becomes more real, you find that you just don’t see each other as much as you did freshman year.

Being in classes together or living in the same building certainly helps, but on the other hand you may become a little jaded of those same faces.

But in a couple of weeks, class of ’15 will depart from Gannon to make our own path in the world and that – most likely – will not include the wonderful people we have met during our time here.

With the exception of the college sweethearts and the now Siamese twin roommates, it’s about to be an exciting time in our lives without the friendly faces from freshman year. And I’ve heard a rumor that it may even be really difficult and trying and stressful.

That’s why we need to make nice with the people who have helped us thus far, because no matter how far apart we are, only we can provide the exact empathy and support our friends need.

I think we can all agree that during our time in college we have changed the most as people.

In middle school we got all of those awkward physical changes out of the way, but here we learned about responsibility and maturity and gained some perspective on the world.

When I lived back home, people honked their horns to say “hello.” Here, I have been honked at many times and they were rarely nice or cordial.

As the Fresh Prince would say, our lives are about to be flipped, turned upside down all over again as we move to a new city and start a new life. But before we do that, let’s enjoy these precious moments with the ones who have meant so much to us for the past four years.

My friends are the reason I know what dry shampoo is, where all of the hippest coffee shops are, how to blend makeup, use Google Docs, order a drink that doesn’t end in “-tini” and they’re also why I know all of the lyrics to “Look at Me Now” by Chris Brown. Yes, even the Busta Rhymes rap.

These may seem like trivial things, but I’ve learned innumerable lessons from these people and I can’t even begin to quantify my gratefulness.

It’s time to start a new adventure and explore a new world, but before you go show thanks to the ones who have helped you make it this far.

 

BRIANNA WOODS

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