Bailey: Some advice for underclassmen from a graduating senior

Fynn Bailey

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. 

Life is a journey to be taken in phases. Many of us are currently feeling isolated and eager to get back to a normal routine. Many seniors are taking this time to feel nostalgic and think about their time spent at Colorado State University.

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As a senior myself, I want to encourage those with more time as Rams to not define this part of their life by what the future might hold. That is, don’t focus your college experience around what job you want once you leave. Be here now.

You can get lost when you look at these years with tunnel vision, and you can miss out on many opportunities all around you.

When you have a definite plan, you might miss what your true calling is. Lots of people change majors completely during their time in college, and many more get out of college and wish they had chosen something else. Look into other majors and other career fields, and don’t get snagged on what 18-year-old you thought was the best path. I say that as someone who started as a business major before turning to journalism.

The First step to solving a problem is trying to solve it yourself. the very next step is asking for help.”

Don’t look at college as a proving ground for you within your major. You’ll miss out on a lot of cool things that have nothing to do with your future, your major or you. Join clubs that interest you even if they aren’t academic, make friends who are in majors wildly different from yours and go see our plays and games. Participate in situations that would’ve surprised you in high school.

Go easy on yourself, and maintain goals that challenge you. Our brains are still developing, so this is a great time to challenge ourselves emotionally, mentally and physically. On the other hand, be kind to yourself and give yourself room for that growth. You can absolutely do that ambitious project you thought of in the shower, but don’t put all your eggs into an unlikely basket.

A professor hugs a student at graduation.
Colorado State University professor Jerry Black hugs a graduate after they received their diploma during the graduation ceremony for the College of Agricultural Sciences on May 12, 2018, at Moby Arena. (Forrest Czarnecki | The Collegian)

The first step to solving a problem is trying to solve it yourself. The very next step is asking for help. Do that all the time. A lot of people are being paid here to help you, and that’s not as true after college, so take the help greedily.

The last piece of advice is to enjoy your time here immensely. I know it’s a cliché to say that it will go by fast, but anyone who has lived any measured amount of time will tell you that it’s true. Do some of the things you dream of. Go on that road trip, host that party and be at the center of someone else’s stories years from now.

Also, sleep eight hours every night that you can, and eat healthier than you think you should — that will really help the enjoyment part. All of this will be worth it.

To all the seniors, our time got cut short, and I’m sure this is not how any of us imagined our last semester, so to us, it’s also an important reminder that the rest of our lives aren’t about our jobs.

Let’s all try to enjoy it a year from now when we’re working somewhere new and COVID-19 is just a bad memory. Older people keep telling us that this next part goes by even faster, so let’s just trust them and live full lives. Best of luck out there, Rams.

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Fynn Bailey can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @FynnBailey.