I might not be Oscar-hosting Tina Fey or a widely respected FBI director. I could never write, let alone deliver, a speech to 10,000 people. Nevertheless, in my last column, I do plan to share a few pieces of last minute advice. First and foremost, I congratulate the 320th graduating class of this succulent institution, and I encourage all of the seniors to pull out the flasks and beach balls at the ceremony and toast to all of the wonderful memories they have made. I also congratulate the parents on their last out-of-state tuition payment and on all of the vacations and home gyms they will now be able to afford.
To the seniors reading this, I hope you have had a fantastic time. If there are adventures that you have not yet had a chance to pursue, such as completing the last leg of the ironman or scaling academic buildings, make the next 24 hours count because Residence Life wants you out of here no later than May 13 at 12 p.m. Feel free to bring family along on your escapades — everyone wants to feel 22 and reckless once in a while.
However, if you are one of those lucky underclassmen that will survive the bouncy castles and misbehaving professors that LDOC brings, take note, for there is still some wisdom we seniors have left to impart.
1. Talk to everyone, no matter how intimidating, or short, or weird, or just plain smelly.
If you have sat at any massive intro class at the College of William and Mary, you can get an idea of just how many people you have left to meet. We can be a school of dorks, quirks and plain old weirdo’s, but sometimes those are the very things that make us worth knowing. Expand your horizons and talk to all strangers; college is the only time you will have the guts to do it anyway.
2. Take the most inconvenient and tiring trips possible.
Whether it’s white water rafting or hiking with the Outdoor Club, gathering the courage to take part in a beach formal, going to a DC protest rally or doing anything else that floats your boat in the surrounding area, suck it up and do it. If you need more encouragement, just remember that gas is not getting any cheaper in the next decade.
3. Study abroad, everywhere, including Madagascar … or Djibouti.
Sure, it will make you realize that American food sucks, and our “old” Sir Christopher Wren Building is younger than most of the stone houses in Northern Europe, but it will also open your eyes to experiences you never could have imagined. Go because your later years will be filled with jobs and kids and rents and bills, and never again will you be able to simply leave for six months. Besides, there is only one sweeter thing than being at the College — coming back to it.
4. Go to every single event. Ever.
I don’t care about your thesis or your quiz or your 80-page play; you can always just stay up and sleep in an extra hour. My favorite memories here have been made at Fridays at five, philanthropies and last lectures. Considering the fact that you cannot be formally fired because you are paying to be here, you really have no valid excuse.
5. Stop checking your watch.
At least once a week, ditch your computer, alarm, watch and everything else under the sun. We often feel like time is running away from us, but in reality, we are just keeping close watch. There is no better day than a day wasted on oneself.
6. Fall in love (not in the “The Notebook” sense but rather the “Forrest Gump” sort of way).
If there was anything that Forrest did right, it was loving everything around him. Whether it is your roommate-turned-best friend, the professor you secretly have a crush on or a beautiful spring day spent picnicking in CW — let yourself fall in love.
For if there were ever any single piece of advice I could give — humor and jokes aside — I would tell you to remember this: Love all that you have had in the past, and look forward to all you will face in the future. Think back to all of your adventures and favorite nights, and rejoice in all of the wonderful things you have done today. Smile because tomorrow’s promise is even more beautiful.
Dasha Godunova was a Confusion Corner columnist, and would like to thank all of The Flat Hat’s readers for putting up with her unwitty jokes and even lamer pop culture references for the past two years.