Afua Nuro, Staff Writer
“Look to your right and left side, these people that you see will most likely not be here when you graduate.” Those were the words that President Kleniewski spoke on my first day of orientation. Those words could not have been any truer, since many of the students in that orientation room will not be graduating with me in May. After four years at SUNY Oneonta, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about my time here.
When you arrive at college for the first time you are wide-eyed and excited for all the new things you are going to encounter. This feeling ended very quickly for me. Being a big town girl, this small town got boring quickly. I would say that I regret coming to Oneonta, but I have met so many great people here. If not for them I would have transferred before my freshman year ended. There is a saying, “If you don’t go out and get it you are never going to find it,” and this message rings true for my experience at SUNY Oneonta. I knew that staying in my room was not an option. I needed to go out and find things to do and sometimes that was difficult. Even though I struggled to find my place in Oneonta, I did a lot of growing up while I was here.
College is an awkward time in life where one is no longer a child, but in a way not quite an adult. You’re expected to be more mature, but everyone tells you that you’re still young and need to have fun. There have been many moments which I feel have pushed me into an adulthood while being a student at Oneonta. One of those moments is when I studied abroad for the first time in Vietnam. You may never learn more about yourself than when you travel to a foreign country. The experience takes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to learn how much you can tolerate. Dealing with stress, racism and nearly flunking out of school altogether are other college experiences that have changed me. All these moments have helped define who I am as a person and have set the tone for the kind of adult I am becoming.
A teacher once told me that I should make sure I have a good time while I am in college and I certainly made sure that I did. Even though it is good to do well in school and study, you need to balance this with some fun. You are never going to look back on your college years and remember what you did in the classroom. You are going to be looking back on all the parties, activities, clubs and trips you participated in. Most especially you are going to remember all the amazing classmates and teachers you met. There are a few things I will miss, like cold cheese pizza and the bars. I may not miss the town of Oneonta, but I will miss many students from the school and a few teachers as well.
Everyone’s journey to get here was difficult in many ways and we all had to endure some kind of challenge to reach this achievement. In the words of Asher Roth from his song “I love College,” before it is your time to graduate, “do something crazy!”