When I stepped on to campus four years ago, the end seemed so
far away. I had plenty of time to figure out what I was going to do
with my life, time to make new friends and time to learn. Now the
beginning seems like yesterday, and the future is way too
In my time here at CSU, I have learned many things. There are
things I wish I had done differently, and there are things that
made my life so much better.
As always, I will be brief, but here is what I learned and some
advice. Some you have heard, some maybe not. I will try not to be
1. Get involved.
Find something that seems like it might be interesting and just
try it out.
After reporting for one year, I thought trying to be an editor
sounded like it might be interesting, so I applied. I did not
expect to get the job, but I did. And in my time here I have
learned invaluable tools, made incredible friends and found a
second home (in which I spend more time than my actual home).
2. Set goals and achieve them.
Follow your dreams. Try everything you want, because what can it
3. Give all strangers a chance.
You may never know which of the strangers may become one of the
greatest people you know.
On July 1, I will leave my home of Colorado. I am venturing east
to Washington, D.C. This means that some will be easier to keep in
touch with than others. But the friends who will be with me forever
are the ones that I met purely by chance.
Meeting a person in class, on a job or in a group are all
invaluable opportunities to make friends to last a lifetime.
College offers an opportunity to meet people purely as they are,
without preconceived notions and in an atmosphere that breeds
tolerance. Give everyone you meet a chance to be a great
4. Get informed.
Education is the most important tool. Learn about CSU-what
classes and teachers to take and what is going on on campus.
Also, learn about the bigger world around you. There is a great,
big world out there that is very different from Fort Collins, yet
interested and exciting. It helps you put things in
5. Whether it is to get a job or to go back to school, the
teachers can help.
Don’t forget that when this blissful time in college is over,
you will have to get a real job, starting waking up before 9 (or 10
or 11) and start paying for many things that you never had to
before (for me it is rent).
So, make friends with teachers in classes you are good at-they
can be much-needed references, provide experienced advice and maybe
help with the painful, but necessary networking everyone preaches
6. Be willing to change your major and your mind.
It is important to have some goal about what you want to do, but
still shop around a bit. You may find something that fits you much
I came to CSU as a journalism major. I was going to be a
journalist. That is all I wanted to do. They forced me to take a
couple political science classes, and as much of a nerd as I am, I
found a new path because of it.
I will now graduate in less than two weeks with a political
science degree and am going to graduate school to pursue that
degree. As it stands now I am going to spend the rest of my life in
the field of politics. But there is always a possibility for
7. Savor every minute and hold on to every memory.
As a freshman, the end seems eons away, but now I can still
remember, in vivid detail, that first day moving into the residence
halls. All that is left is the memories captured by picture and the
parts of my brain still left, and the friends I will take with me