There are a lot of reasons not to go to college. It’s expensive and there are no jobs anyway, so why bother? You will inevitably cheat, lie and publicly humiliate yourself. Someone else’s body fluids will find their way on to you. You will make amazing friends and probably a few enemies and you will leave knowing that you’ll never see most of them again. So, why do it?
I’m supposed to write a reflection, I guess about my time here at New Paltz. I’m graduating with nine semesters, 170 credits and two undergraduate degrees under my belt. I have studied abroad in both Spain and Australia and have traveled through four continents. I wrote for The Oracle and interned in New York and was inducted into an honors society. I played on an award-winning, badass sports team and was voted captain. I did it all.
Coming out of this with a degree in journalism and another in art, I know that there is very little the job market has to offer me and I’m starting to be kind of okay with that. You see, college isn’t just about learning or drinking or making mistakes—it’s all of it. Now, at the end, I don’t really care that I’m about to be one of the many unemployed 20-somethings; I’m just happy I did it.
I am a completely different person than who I was freshman year and I’m grateful for that in so many ways. I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that I did everything I possibly could to make the last four and a half years a time that I will look back on and miss hereafter.
All the studying, traveling, partying, kissing and really stupid decisions helped me realize that I am absolutely ready for the next step — whatever that is. It could be grad school or law school or J-school or no school or a job babysitting, time spent unemployed, or I could even land my dream job writing to make real, spendable money (crazy, I know). I honestly don’t really care. I’m just happy for something new.
So yeah, the economy is bad and the outlook for recent grads is bleak, but there really is no rush. Taking this time to make mistakes and learn so much about myself is way more valuable than the degrees I will take away, and no amount of money could replace this experience. I’m going to miss this place and all of you, but I’m excited to take my adventures elsewhere because I’M FINALLY DONE!