A Hullabaloo Sign Off

Brendan Lyman, Contributing Reporter

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

 

As I was preparing the final Views Section of the year, and my final as an editor, the thought occurred to me to do one more article with advice to underclassmen, but the truth is I didn’t feel I had much to offer.

I still don’t feel I have much.

First, the cliché advice: Don’t trap your social life on Broadway and Maple streets. Get out of the Tulane bubble. We live in the most unique city in the country, and it’s not just unique during Mardi Gras season. Explore New Orleans, be aware of where you are and talk to locals. Take classes that interest you and help you graduate.

Nothing, including a grade-point average and a major, should define you. They both are important, but neither is going to solely define your journey through college and after. You will hear these things multiple times throughout your college career, and they all are true.

Now the not so cliché advice: College is a time of self-exploration and discovery. It’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to do what you want to do, but stay grounded and try to think of others when making your decisions. That doesn’t mean you have to give up what you want to do or what’s best for you, it means that you try to be more aware of the impact your decisions have. Allow yourself to see the people affected by your decision, and consider what a decision that puts people first might look like.

Find a passion in college and keep it separate from academics. Politics, the environment, bartending, music, find something you have a real interest in and devote yourself to learning as much as you can outside of school about it. Be a nerd about your passion, and don’t be afraid to occasionally show how much of a nerd you are. If you do so, you’ll find yourself around people who are deeply passionate about similar things, you’ll learn more than you imagined and you’ll form amazing friendships.

Finally, trust your values. College isn’t its own separate path, it’s a part of your life journey. People come into college with certain values and beliefs, conscious and unconscious, which lead them here. Learn what those values are, challenge them and then discover why you hold them so close.  Chances are you won’t abandon your values, but instead have a much deeper understanding about what you believe, where you come from and where you want to go.

Four years seems like a long time, but it will go by fast. You’ll go from sitting in a freshman common room to preparing for graduation in an instant. Take advantage of the opportunities put in front of you, see the people in your life as more than just assets and share with your friends your goals and passions. If you do that, your graduation day won’t feel like the end of a part of your life, but instead a continuation of the path you’ve always been on.