The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Senior reflects on years at SMU

As graduation approaches faster than many of us can believe, it is easy to become troubled about the unknown future. However, while we get caught up in the whirlwind of sending graduation announcements, saying goodbye to our best friends, moving to a new city and applying for jobs, let us remember that we are actually in a very familiar place.

It’s as if we have come full circle in our education; despite how far we have gone in the last two decades, we are right back at the beginning. When we started preschool as toddlers, we were scared of leaving behind our comfort zones for a new and foreign place. Our routines were about to be shaken up and we were forced to accumulate ourselves into a new environment.

Four years ago, we were hugging to our high school sweethearts and friends goodbye. We were throwing graduation parties and ordering our caps and gowns. We were getting ready for the next steps in our lives, deciding where we were going to live and what we were going to study. We were also unsure about what lay ahead.

So what do starting preschool and graduating high school and college all have in common? All of these adventures involved leaving our homes and our comfort zones for a new and mysterious world.

In the last four years, SMU has become our comfort zone. We started in the dorms as timid freshmen getting used to our new environments. We decorated our dorm rooms with old pictures and memorabilia to make them feel more comfortable. It took a while, but soon that stale dorm room turned into our home away from home.

Now, after spending an important chapter of our lives here-in Fondren Library, in the Dedman Center, on the Boulevard, in the Meadows building, in the student center-SMU has made itself home for us.

Our soon-to-be alma mater welcomed us back after every summer, despite us having left it for three months, and everything picked up where it left off. Reuniting with the Hilltop and with our friends was like we never even left. Everything was steady, and we loved that. SMU made everything comfortable and safe for us, and in return we did most of our growing up right here in front of its eyes.

Oh, if this little southern bubble could talk. It would have some fascinating stories; but we love it even more for keeping our secrets safely locked within the vaults of college foolishness.

Now our little southern bubble is about to pop and just about everyone I know is having a quarter-life crisis. I have seen countless photo albums on Facebook along the lines of, “I Don’t Want to Graduate.” There is no more time for freaking out – only time for fun. We will all be happier if we accept the fact that things are going to change and spend these last cherished weeks enjoying time with our best friends and making some of the greatest memories. It will only cause us more stress if we focus on what’s to come; in the meantime, we would be missing out on a very special time that will never come again.

Don’t dwell on the past, live in the moment. The same goes for the future. While I understand we want to have the perfect six-figure job offer waiting for us on May 19, we need to learn to be patient. So many seniors seem to be over-stressing about the job search, constantly applying for jobs they probably wouldn’t even like. Why spend your last few weeks of college with Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com, instead of your best friends?

The thing is, sometimes the golden opportunity will come to us. We have to be patient. Take a summer off and travel or find out what you really want to do. This may be our last free summer for a very long time. We have our entire lives to be stuck working the nine-to-five (or longer)-we should take this opportunity to postpone that.

And of course there’s the pressure that comes from our parents, our peers and from everyone else who knows we’re graduating from college. “What are you going to do next?” they all ask. The next time someone asks me that question, I might just have to answer, “I don’t know. What are you doing with your life?” See how they like that.

We cannot get caught up in having the perfect job as soon as we graduate. I’ve learned that it’s OK to not know. That’s the most exciting part of it all. That’s the real adventure.

This feeling right before graduation is bittersweet. When people ask how it feels, I never really know how to respond. Each day I feel something different. It’s like a cocktail shaken up with three parts excitement, one part nervousness and two parts sadness. And the glass is rimmed with both sugar and salt.

So here we are standing on the verge of life’s turns once again. We are at the edge of one experience, stepping into yet another great adventure. It feels weird, doesn’t it? Almost like we are all in limbo. We do not know what lies ahead; we can only be hopeful and jump into our next chapter of life with as much energy that we entered SMU with.

We do know one thing: We have done this before, and we can certainly do it again. Congratulations, Class of 2007!

About the writer:

Annalise Ghiz is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at [email protected].

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