Do me a favor and flash back to the last couple months of high school. Do you remember how excited you were? How anxious you were about starting college and potentially being completely on your own? I can imagine my fellow seniors feel something like that right about now. There’s a certain uneasy but comforting feeling of knowing a chapter is about to close.
Do you remember all of the things your teachers said during your four years of high school to try and prepare you for college? There were so many “don’t”’s that were said and repeated so as to bore them into our brains so that they could say, “At least I told you.”
Here’s the thing, though. I have realized that just about all of those things I was told were completely wrong.
I remember teachers used to always tell my fellow classmates and I that we wouldn’t be able to use technology all the time when we got to college. There are some classes where I am told to bring my laptop or pull out my phone. I used to have a professor that would start to go off topic during class about something completely random, then ask someone to Google something about it. For at least half of the classes I have taken here at Wesleyan, I’ve used my phone or laptop in some sort of fashion that proved to be beneficial to the class. Shoot, there was a whole class on the cell phone that I should have and would have taken if I hadn’t found out after the fact. Technology isn’t something our professors deprive us of, but rather something that professors include in their lessons because they know that’s what’s interesting to us.
One other thing I remember being told is that, “Your professors in college are there to teach you, not to be your friend.” There are professors here who probably have that mentality. But none of the professors I ever had were like that. Some joke about following them on social media, but they will definitely be #TeamFollowBack if you do. I have such great relationships with my professors and would definitely consider them to be friends. I’ve bumped into some outside of campus and, even though it’s still weird to believe that teachers have lives outside of class and are actual human beings with lives, it was always a great experience. There are definitely some professors that I will maintain a friendship with after graduation.
Since graduation is near, I just want to tell all of you seniors how proud I am of you. Even if we’ve never or barely talked, I know how hard you’ve worked to get to this point. There are always obstacles in front of us, and we knocked down each and every one of them. We’ve made it. We’re finally at the end of our undergraduate journey. Some of us don’t know what’s next, and that’s okay. It’s time to, as my first favorite teacher Miss Frizzle used to say, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”