Advice from a senior: make each moment count
Published: Monday, August 20, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 20, 2012 02:08
This is it.
Your last payment is mailed in to the financial aid office, sealed with your last shred of patience, and your books are purchased—paid in full (very, very full).
You are ready to begin your journey, and graduation probably feels like a distant goal, a mirage at the end of the desert of knowledge and labor.
Take it from me: That blurry mirage is a marble statue planted firmly in front of your unsuspecting face.
Four years may at this point seem like a marathon, but in reality you are already in the blocks for the final heat of the 100-meter sprint of your life.
Having been in your position in the fall of 2008, I know all too well just how quickly the time goes.
For those eager to start a career and forge a road to professional success, this reality is both good and bad.
On the positive side, you get your degree and the opportunity to move on to the next leg of your life. This, I assume, is the ultimate goal of each and every one of you.
Conversely, your life, your real adult life, is about to start much sooner than you realize.
I remember the feeling well as I stepped into my third floor dorm room in Stalnaker Hall in 2008. "I am going to be here forever," I thought."I have plenty of time to explore my options."
I was wrong.
If there is one thing I suggest you do your freshmen year in college, it is this: Get involved in a club or activity that interests you.
If you are the sports-type, try one of the many intramural teams on campus. If you are a social butterfly, shop around—there is a fraternity or sorority on campus that would love to have you.
Understand that college is as much a life experience as it is a learning experience, and you will set yourself up for success on the professional and personal levels.
Satisfying your long-term goals and meeting your immediate personal wants and needs is a delicate balance, but it is not impossible.
No matter what walk of life you come from, no matter how eccentric a personality you possess, there is something here at WVU to tickle your fancy and propel you down the path of fulfillment.
College is without a doubt the most important time of your life.
Until you graduate.
Make each day and each second here count and you will ensure a never-ending path of enjoyment and of personal and professional satisfaction.
Days turn into weeks and weeks rapidly into years.
Today you are processing the knowledge gathered at orientation (provided you did not sleep through it), but tomorrow you will be receiving e-mails asking you to order your cap and gown.
It is a foreign, distant thought now, but that day is not far away.
WVU is a great place to find what you are made of and what makes you tick. If you explore your options, responsibly combine playtime with study-time and make sure to take advantage of the many resources at your disposal, there is no reason that your college experience will not provide lasting memories and realized dreams.
You may have only just set foot on campus, but there is already a chair on the graduation stage with your name on it.
By staying focused and maintaining a delicate balance between your career ambitions and personal desires, you will effectively cement that seat to the floor, where it will be yours in just four short years.
Class of 2016, I wish you well. Realize it or not, you are on the brink of something special.
WVU will be here to accommodate you in your ambitions and ensure that you are set up for success at every turn, every slip-up (and there will be slip-ups) and every triumph throughout your college career.
The path for success is laid out for you.
The rest is in your hands.