February 2, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 14°F


Looking past the degree

When I sat down Sunday night to write this column, as I do each weekend, I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted to write about. By the time this article goes to print, I will have less than 1.5 million seconds left in my college career. In just 17 days, I will graduate and be sent into the real world, Bachelor of Science degree in hand, ready to take on the challenges that come with being an adult in society.%image_alt%

So much stress and angst flows through campus this time of year that it’s almost unbearable to watch. If I were to leave you with one final piece of advice in the last column I will ever write for The Ithacan, it is this: Slow down and enjoy life. Don’t let parents, friends, family or professors stress you out and ruin your college experience.

There is a major problem with how my generation is prepared to take on the world once they leave the friendly confines of a college campus. Students are too often taught that college is a stepping stone to a career and attending a university is what one must do to lead a successful adult life. What we are forgetting, though, is that when we look back 10, 20 and even 30 years after we graduate, our experiences outside of the classroom are the moments we will truly cherish.

Will we remember the grade we got on a politics midterm from our junior year or the 20-page research paper we had to write for a government class? I know that I won’t. I will remember professors like Stephen Mosher and Kyle Woody showing me the path to a fulfilling life. They cared more about what I took away from their courses as an individual and how the knowledge can be applicable to life in a positive way. I’ll remember calling home and road football games for WICB and being on the field for game-winning touchdowns at Butterfield Stadium. Most importantly, I’ll remember writing this column in the sports section each week. I’ll remember a very trusting editor giving me the chance to have my thoughts heard. You may not have agreed with what I had to say, or you may have simply skipped reading it entirely, but that’s OK.

What I have learned during four years of college is not to stress the little things. Life, like sports, is about something bigger. It’s about enjoying what you’re doing and not being concerned with the final results, but what you learn by getting to the end. So don’t worry too much about the job prospects your degree will bring. Don’t be anxious about the future during this week of final exams or the rest of your college career. You’ll have enough time to do that the rest of your life.