Graduated college

May 052011
Authors: Nic Turciano and Kate Bennis

Maybe in a week, I, Kate Bennis, will have a chance to read a book that I’ve picked out myself. Maybe in a week, I will be basking in the sun, cocktail with a little umbrella in my hand as the monotony of lazy lounge music (or perhaps Steely Dan?) lingers on in the open air.

Or at least maybe, in one week, I will stop waking up in the middle of the night in cold sweats because I dreamed that I was sitting in a graduation ceremony that was not my own, but rather a class of kindergarteners clad in trainer’s pants, who’d just completed their run of a Safety Town course. I am graduating college and, clearly, my hopes and dreams are beginning to spurt forth like a baby who just ate some crab rangoon. And I’m doing this one alone –– my co-columnist Nic Turiciano is quick to tell me that he is “never graduating.” While I am certain that’s not true, he may or may not be playing Solitaire right now.

I suppose that technically I have done this before; I know that I walked at my high school graduation because I can remember how pissed off I was that our class song in 2006 was
“Free Bird.” But this is different –– this time, it’s “for real.”

First thing’s first: I needed to make sure I was actually graduating.

I stopped by the journalism department to see Ananda Luttet. I briefly explained to her my dilemma about being unsure, leaving out the premises of my dreams, hoping that I was brief enough so that she wouldn’t think that I was totally nuts. She pointed to a list of graduates tacked outside the door of her office. Sure enough, my name was on it. She offered to run my DARS but I thanked her politely and headed out. I had seen it written with my own two eyes.

Next, I needed to leave a legacy. Because I only have one more actual day of school left, I realized that I needed some help. And so, words of wisdom from other people will have to suffice. What do others wish that they knew while they were in college? I sent Nic out for the answer (I didn’t even have time to go out looking for wisdom).

“Not to graduate,” Nick Leinen. Ramtech Manager.

“I wish I would have known how important having balance is. To take care of yourself and not work all the time.” K. Foula Dimopoulos, director of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, said.

Had I only known both of these things prior to this week, I feel that my time in college could have elapsed at a much more leisurely pace. Here’s hoping that you, the reader, make use of your newfound knowledge.

Finally, graduating calls for a celebration, right? Unfortunately, I really don’t have time to plan a party, either; I’m moving to Brooklyn five days after I strut. Thus, I called up a little bar in Laporte that often has a local country band playing. The neat thing about planning something at a bar is that you don’t have to make reservations (most of the time), they’re excited that you’re coming and your carpets at home remain unscathed from PBR and peanut shells. Ready, set, go.

People say that going out into the “real world” is like being thrown to the wolves. But through writing this column with Nic, I can assume that that might not be too bad. Perhaps immersing yourself is the only real way to know. Force yourself to eat 11 pounds of pizza, hurl yourself at a prize-winning cage fighter. Salsa dance even though everyone’s staring at your T-Rex arms or date someone in the time it takes to blow your nose. Then, hop on out to the wolves –– just make sure you have something to compare it with, first.

Never Have I Ever? More like, “Maybe I Have!”


Columnists Kate Bennis and Nic Turiciano can be reached at

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