My goal in coming to Lawrence wasn’t just to “go to college.” My goal was to “graduate college” — and now the time is finally here. I can’t believe it. I’ll spare you the details of my trials here, but I am proud of the fact that I am the first in my family to go to college and to graduate! Although you may not be first, and you certainly are not the last, graduating college is quite a celebration! We all know that graduating Lawrence is something to be proud about — or at least we are trying to convince ourselves of that fact in the middle of the winter.
I want to share a little of my experience in the hopes that you can relate, somewhere, somehow. We have shared this campus. Even if I never knew your name, even if I never spoke to you, even if I never saw you… we shared this campus. Most recently, we shared the icy sidewalks similar to ice skating rinks while walking to class, or we walked through the same crunchy leaves while going to Warch in the fall, or we stayed up late trying to finish that last minute assignment.
My time at Lawrence has been a memorable and unforgettable experience. I remember my freshman year coming here and not knowing a single soul. I met all of my best friends from my first residence hall, Plantz, and kept in touch with others from Kohler and Ormsby. I am proud to say that I have lived with the same roommate for the past four years — well, three but she’s in my quad this year!
Campus has changed quite a bit since being here. As a freshman I ate in Jason Downer Commons, and then sophomore year, we moved into Andrew Commons. It’s difficult to believe we, the class of 2012, are the last class to have used Downer for our dining facility. Also, the fact that Colman-Landis is no longer the health center, and that Harmony Café is two blocks away! Campus will continue to change and by the time I come back for the 10 year reunion, it will be different, too!
I sincerely hope that in my time at Lawrence, I have touched the lives of others. I spent my time either at Wilson House in my one of many admission jobs — where I may have spoken to you as a prospective student! — or through LUCC, where I couldn’t quite get enough of the craziness included in a student governing body. Or maybe you saw me in my prime in the geology department.
I think that the purpose of life is to touch the lives of others and enhance their lives with your wisdom, your smile, your story. So, take the time to talk to someone that you may never see again, sit down and enjoy a conversation with a friend, or say hi to one of the many friendly staff that make this campus go round!
My parting advice to up and coming Lawrentians is to have fun, but remember why you’re on campus. You’re here at this wonderful school because you want an education. Whether it be in a guaranteed job placement field — like music education — or in a field that you simply love, like history, pursue it with passion and enjoy your time with your professors, embrace your friendships and continue doing all things Lawrence-like.
I will remember my time here at Lawrence, as I’m sure that others will remember. We will remember the hard times, the happy times, the sad times, and above all, our time. So, take your time and enjoy your time at Lawrence. Count down the days for a celebration but embrace the world in which you’ve lived your life for the past few years!