By Kelly Martin, Toppel Peer Advisor
As I approach graduation, every time I talk to an underclassman who asks about post graduation plans and how exciting it sounds, all I can think of is this clip from Billy Madison:
While I haven’t grabbed anyone by the cheeks and urged them to never leave (yet), I figure the least I can do is impart some of my senior wisdom upon the youths of UMiami before I leave.
1. Try Everything
This semester I have found myself going on a lot more spontaneous adventures than I have in past semesters. Whether it’s going to a bowling happy hour on a random Saturday night, a last minute weekend road trip to the crystal clear freshwater springs a few hours north, or spending an afternoon paddleboarding with 20 of my best friends followed by dinner at the WetLab on the marine campus, this semester has been one big adventure. And it’s been amazing. But even beyond the random new things to try around Miami, make sure you also take advantage of everything UM has to offer: study abroad (the best decision you’ll ever make), join that club you’ve always wanted to join, take a class just because you’re interested in the topic. You have nothing to lose and only amazing experiences to gain, so not to copy Nike, but just do it.
2. Keep Things In Perspective
This one took me until the semester I studied abroad to fully understand and appreciate. I’ve always been a hardworking student, worried about every grade on every homework assignment, quiz, or test. A semester studying abroad taught me that there is so much more to life than one grade you get. Sure, failing a class can have a significant impact on your academic career, but there’s a way to balance doing well in school and also having time for yourself. I got through a semester living in and travelling around Australia, doing and seeing everything I possibly could, and still managed to come out with good grades. I’ll admit it, I got a C in one my classes while abroad (Hint: taking economics in a foreign country is not a good idea), but that’s the only C on my transcript and it was, and still isn’t, the end of the world. I have a job and future despite that C, and I have countless memories from my time abroad that did not involve time spent studying. So take a step back, put those grades in perspective of the grand scheme of your life, and you’ll see you have a lot more living to do than studying.
3. Make Your Bucket List Now
I’m pretty sure every single one of my graduating friends has made some sort of bucket list. Whether it’s on a giant poster board hanging in their kitchen, on a note on their iPhone, or even just jumbled around in their head, everyone has a list of things that they’ve suddenly realized they need to do before graduation. But sadly, graduation comes so much quicker than you could ever believe, and time starts to run out. So make your bucket list now; where do you want to roadtrip (the keys, Disneyworld, FSU for a football game)? What do you want to do in Miami (go paddleboarding, go to a Heat or Marlins game, try a new restaurant)? What do you want to do at UM (go to a Lowedown event at the Lowe Art Museum, go to trivia night at the rat, do senior walk at a football or baseball game)? Think about it now and make a list, because sadly, time will run out before you know it.
There’s a million things you can do to make the most of your time at UM, but I think these three are a pretty good place to start. So best of luck to the classes of 2016, 2017, and 2018, love every second of it, and go ‘Canes!