by Joe Harris
I can't wait until I graduate. If I had a dime for every time I heard myself or someone else say that, then I would have enough money to pay all of the loans used to pay for this educational endeavor of mine.
As students, we have all said that phrase from time to time (especially when we're starting a research paper at 10 p.m. the night before it's due). It's natural to feel this way. Graduation is a major achievement in not only our education, but our lives as well.
I am scheduled to graduate this May (scheduled being the key word here). Last year I expected to be counting down the days by now, but a funny thing happened - reality set in.
The realization that after May school will be over and I will have to find a job to support myself (preferably a job using my degree, but I have no illusions).
It started when my alarm clock woke me up on August 24. My first coherent thought was, 'This is the last first day of school for the rest of my life.'
Driving to school that day, I started thinking about what I had done over my college career. The answer was mostly partying and working. To my chagrin, I found that my first two years of college were a complete waste. I wasn't involved in any organizations and I could not have cared less about the campus.
I was another apathetic UM-St. Louis student.
However, my junior year I got involved. I started writing for the paper and I joined a couple more organizations. I met new people, had new experiences and I actually started to appreciate the UM-St. Louis campus.
Last year was the best year of my educational experience, and it was mostly due to the fact that I got involved.
So get involved. Join a club that interests you, check out an organization you know nothing about or start one of your own. The good thing about this campus is that since so few students are involved, there plenty of opportunities for students to carve their own niche.
Freshman and sophomores, don't waste the two years that I did. Juniors and seniors, it's never too late to get involved. You'll all find that not only your social life improves, but your academic life will improve as well.
Now as graduation approaches, my only regret is that I didn't get involved sooner. It's a regret I can live with.
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