That’s the mentality I came into Drake with. My mindset wasn’t solely based on being a workaholic (although that factor’s definitely in play here), but getting paid is a justifiable motivation. My family and I have spent a pretty penny for the piece of paper I’ll get when I walk across the stage in a few weeks. While getting a job ASAP has remained the primary reason for my attendance, the past few years have meant more to me than professional growth. I’m sure I’m not alone in that when I close my eyes at night, I think how crazy it is that I’ll be graduating in a few weeks.
And as nuts as that is, the craziest bit is when I think back to 2014 when I became a Bulldog — it’s unreal to think that that kid is me. This is the oldest cliché in the soon-to-be-graduate book, but Drake did change me. The community — more than the institution — did its job in instilling values into me as an adult entering the real world.
So much of my Drake experience was defined by mentors I found in both professors and classmates. Learning by example from people that are brighter than I am empowered me to have the confidence to say “screw it” and apply for that long shot dream job or run for student government — and being OK with not always getting the result I’d hoped for.
Looking back, it’s difficult to process how much time has passed in what feels like merely a flash in the pan. So, here’s a list of lists of the things that I can point to when asked to look back at my undergraduate days:
– Lists of my favorite professors
-Lists of my favorite stories I’ve written
-Lists of all the places on the sidewalks that I’ve wiped out on the winter time
-Lists of great moments … and times where I’ve wanted to give up on grades, move to the mountains and raise a pack of goats
-Lists of times and places I’ve shown up on DU promotional materials and admissions panels
Side note: I still think I should get some sort of tuition discount for that one, but I guess we’ll have discuss this later when phone-a-thon calls me up.
Now, as any good opinion piece should do, here’s what I think should be your moral takeaway from investing the three minutes you will have spent reading this.
Find a way to take your involvement on this campus — faculty or student — to a higher plane, whether that’s getting more involved in the broader neighborhood our university is settled in or presenting solutions to the problems we all complain about.
Finally, what you’ll get out of Drake is dependent on what you’re willing to put into it. Whether that’s still the case in the “real world,” I’ll be sure to report back.
Oh, and President Martin, please use your best fountain pen when you sign my diploma!