As freshmen, we come to college with our heads brimming full of expectations. A new home means new opportunities and experiences. The next four years will be jam-packed with friends and football games and all-nighters and study abroad trips and fun get-togethers and all kinds of other shenanigans that we’ll talk about when we’re older and wrinkled.
And that’s exactly how college is…for the first few weeks, at least. Then, the reality of school sets in and your schedule is filled with more deadlines and assignments than fun and games. You remember that, “Oh yeah, I’m here for an education,” and all those expectations you had for college disappear out the window.
That’s what happened for me. Somewhere down the line of my college career, I became so focused on academics that I lost touch with that freshman-like sense of wonder. I’m not implying that my time at Gannon University has been a drag; I’ve had many, many wonderful memories and met many, many wonderful people during my time here. Simply stated, I’ve stopped growing. I believe that one of the most valuable gifts that going away to college can bestow is growth — not just growth in the knowledge of your major, either. College can give you so many new opportunities to grow as a person, provided you’re willing to try. I had become so stuck on the notion of academic growth that I had forgotten all about the other types of ways people can grow. Somewhere in my four years at school, I’ve plateaued. Sure, I’m growing academically every day, but am I really pushing to learn as much about myself and the world around me as I can?
The idea for my final recurring assignment as an Edge Magazine contributor takes me back to my freshmen year roots — back to before I lost that hopeful, “I’ll-try-anything-once” attitude. This series will be kind of like an end of college bucket list stuffed into one semester; an homage to all the goals I set for myself as a freshman that I forgot about doing. Each week, I’ll be trying out one new activity in or around the Gannon community and documenting my thoughts about it, how it helped me grow as a person, etc. Some will be challenging (taking a spinning class at the rec center), some might be downright embarrassing (singing karaoke at the Knight Club) and some may even change the way I see things (attending a mass at Mary, Seat of Wisdom chapel). No matter what the outcomes, it will at the very least make for an interesting story when I’m finally older and wrinkled.
If YOU want me to try out something from your own college bucket list, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!