May 112008
Authors: Nick Hemenway

In this final week of my college career, I have been pondering the decisions I have made over the past five years. In retrospect, I can see how the smallest decisions I made years ago affected my whole college experience.

As my time as a CSU student comes to an end, I want to leave you with some tips I think will make your college experience the best it can be.

The first piece of advice I have is to take everything you can get from CSU. This is the sound advice many of us engineers received from our statics professor Dr. Sunada years ago.

College is an opportunity unlike anything else you will have in your life — so enjoy it.

Go to sporting events, even if we keep getting slaughtered. Enlighten an environmentalist on the plaza with some facts — trust me it can be a lot of fun. Those of you continuing on this fall will enjoy the campus debate and mayhem surrounding the next presidential election. Before you know it, all the small things you take for granted on this campus will be gone.

The second thing you should do is to listen to those who have made the journey before you. Whether this means family, faculty or friends, knowing what is about to come is always an advantage. This is something I wish I had done more consistently.

If countless friends tell you the professor teaching a certain course next semester is terrible, avoid it like the plague. I made the mistake of passing off that advice by saying, “whatever, how bad can they really be?” Then I found out how right they were.

Maybe the most important advice I can give you is to network. No matter what your major is, get to know as many people in your field as you can.

Take it from a graduating senior who is about to enter the workforce; when it comes to finding a great job, personal connections and references are ten times more powerful than a resume with a high GPA. Get to know your professors as much as you can, because it turns out several of them are real people who want to help you in your future endeavors.

My final piece of encouragement is to get involved. CSU has more than three hundred student organizations for you to choose from. There has to be something you love to do that is formally represented here, although I never did get around to starting a long-overdue curling club. Perhaps the most valuable decision I made my freshman year was to get involved with the Navigators.

Until two years ago, I was bound to merely reading my copy of the Collegian during my mechanics of solids class and drawing eye patches and mustaches on the plethora of liberal columnists. Then I decided to get involved and bring some heat to this rag.

It is with this I lay down my virtual pen as a columnist. I wish you all the best of luck throughout the rest of your stay at CSU, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

I can’t think of any better way to end my final excursion into journalistic excellence than quoting the man, the myth, the legend, Ronald Reagan, who said: “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.”

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters and feedback can be sent to

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