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


Looking back on five great years

A graduate student’s advice about heading into the real world

One of my favorite hobbies is people watching. I like to guess what people are thinking, too.

For example, I had some spare time on Tuesday afternoon and strolled around campus enjoying the sun. A class was rocking out to some capoeira outside of Meadows. Capoeira is essentially an Afro-Brazilian fusion of martial arts, games, and dance. I noticed that there were only two males in this group of 20 or 25 students. One was the instructor.

I wondered what the girls were thinking. Did they know that they were going to be cartwheeling and kick boxing when they signed up for this class? Probably not.

Too often, I catch myself lost in my thoughts. I love SMU. Now, you might be rolling your eyes, but it is true.

When my old piano teacher saw my SMU ring over Easter break, she thought I was married. In a weird way, I feel like I am sometimes. To give you some context, I have spent the last five years of my life trying to get involved on campus.

You might be thinking, “Five years–super senior!” Unfortunately, I cannot truthfully claim that title. I actually graduated last year. But SMU is such a big part of my life that I wanted to stay for another year to work with students and also get a Masters degree in engineering.

If that is not enough to make you think I am ridiculous, I got involved with over 30 organizations in these past five years. I purposely took some classes because I knew they would be hard but interesting. I traveled abroad to France (twice) and Spain. I have only missed about five home football games and one Jampact concert. I was almost homecoming king- someday a SigEp will win that title. Maybe next year? I have aspirations of a giant Peruna groom’s cake.

Why am I telling you all of this? As my reader, I feel it is only fair that you know just how crazy I am about SMU. I tried very hard to get the most out of my time here.

As the semester winds down and my academic career at SMU comes to an indefinite pause, I realize that I have a lot on my mind. I’m going to share it with you. Take it all with a grain of salt and a shot of Peruna.

SMU Unbridled is “the most wonderful time in the world.” No, but really: Have you ever read about the campaign’s goals? I cringe when I hear students complaining about the lack of activities on campus or the lack of academic rigor. Picking an easy class voids your right to complain about academic rigor.

First-year students have way too much time on their hands. The school should give them something to do. All they want is a little more attention. Right?

I have no pity for students who go all out on a school night. On the flip side, SMU should care more for its first-year students.

If we’re going to call them residence halls and not dorms, I would expect a greater sense of community. It is a cornerstone value. Why is it that we still have students who feel left out? That is ridiculous! Not even international students should feel left out here.

The Greek system needs to examine itself more critically. Are you actually living by your organization’s values? If every Greek man and woman lived according to the standards of his or her organization, I doubt we would get as much flak as we do.

I used to wonder why students feel like this campus is so Greek-oriented. All you need to do is look at the official and unofficial social events calendar. What’s the ratio of Greek to non-Greek events that happen in the first few months of school?

Wonder why there is a lack of school spirit? It’s because the students before us had negative attitudes and that’s contagious. At the same time, your enthusiasm is contagious too.

I haven’t even talked about diversity, but I just reached my 800 word limit.

Daniel Liu is a graduate engineering management student. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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