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Wisdom of the years

With graduation right around the corner and this being my final column for the Oracle, I’ve decided to recap and impart what small amount of wisdom I’ve gathered in my many adventures this semester and over my years at USF. The first and probably most valuable lesson I’ve learned from doing this bi-weekly column is to never be afraid of trying new things. While it sounds like something your grandparents would tell you, it really became clear to me this year.

I’ve lived in Tampa for the majority of my life, and there are so many amazing things I’ve neglected to try until this year out of pure laziness.

It’s so easy to fall into a safe rut of going to the movies or hanging out at a bar, but for the long-time Tampa residents as well as the newcomers, I urge you to take that strip aerobics class or climb that rock wall. Do that one thing just one time, and it will give a profound sense of pride. Even if you don’t like these new activities, at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing.

Another thing I’ve learned is that it’s a really good idea to get involved with the school. While USF is understandably not the most unified college when it comes to fostering a sense of community, it does offer a pretty diverse range of programs and projects that are easy to join. Perspective employers will not only be looking for someone with a four-year degree, but they love those who get involved as well. Don’t be afraid to be a joiner. All the cool kids are doing it.

I have definitely learned to keep an open mind. It is so easy to cast judgment on classmates by the way they look or little personality clashes. People have a lot of layers, and the girl or guy who sat next to you in biology could turn out to be a good friend or, at the very least, a pal in the class. I can’t say that I’m not guilty of judging a book by it’s cover at times, but this experience has taught me to keep an open mind when meeting new people. I’m naturally a pretty shy person, but by having my picture in the paper and classmates commenting to me on my stories has sparked some friendships that would not have happened if I remained in my shell.

Now that I’m about to complete my grand adventure here at USF, I can get a bit nostalgic. While it often may not feel like it and it is cliche, these are some of the best times of our lives.

College is what you make it. Cherish the friendships you make, because sadly when everyone goes onto their new adventures, some of them will be only be mere memories. Try new things, get involved and make new friends. These things are just as important to learn as the material professors cram in our heads. They will last longer and prove more fruitful than any bit of history or grammar usage ever could.

As I approach a new adventure in a new place with new people, I won’t forget the things that or the people who got me here or made me the happy, excited and grateful graduate that I am.