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An ode to Ottawa University

On April 7, 2014

Yesterday I moved into my dorm, said goodbye to my parents and then an hour later called them bawling, begging for them to take me home.

In a few short weeks, I will be graduating from college. Although the last few years have flown by, I have learned so much and changed so much to become more of myself. Although I could go into some deep transformation story, I’ve spent enough of my past three college years sharing my heart and mind with this paper and most of what I would share would be old news. Instead, I will provide you with a list of what college has taught me: An Ode to Ottawa University.

1. $15 flex cash to be used in the snack bar will not actually get you as much food as you could get pretty much anywhere else.

2. Your dorm room is your own space… as long as you don’t paint, hang anything, bring in any of your own furniture or put anything up that your roommate would dislike.

3. Your room will be checked a week before Christmas Break and then again the day you are leaving and you will be expected to take your trash out both times, even if it’s not full. It makes no sense to anyone, but it will happen. Accept it and move on.

4. “Coolness” is relative, and often it is the strangest people who are actually the most fun to hang out with.

5. Existential crisis is a normal occurrence if you plan to take more than one or two religion or philosophy classes.

6. Going into college heavily Republican does not always mean that you will leave the same way, or vice versa. This is okay. Figure it out.

7. Intelligence is a beautiful gift and should be pursued, even if it means you’re the only kid on your hall obsessively watching documentaries on North Korea.

8. Academia is great, but it’s not the most important thing in life. Being there for family, friends and love sometimes need to supersede a homework assignment.

9. Sometimes, a Ferris Bueller day is in order. Live it up. Just don’t do this too often.

10.Professors can be some of the best friends you make in college. Enjoy their knowledge and wisdom and take time to learn from them outside of the classroom if possible.

11.Cookie-cutter thinking and decision-making is overrated. If you’re ready to take a big step, don’t put it off just because your classmates and peers aren’t at the same place. Getting married in college was one of my best decisions.

12.Siblings can be great friends. Breaks should be utilized in light of this understanding.

13. Potluck roommates can be fantastic or they can be horrid and which one a future roommate will become can be uncovered through no amount of Facebook stalking.

14.Befriending a diverse group of people can be more educational than school itself, and more fun, too.

15.College is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning. I’m not sure whether I will return to school again or not. We’ll see if graduate school calls or not, but what I do know is that college has put me in a place where I am committed to never stop learning and trying to understand the world around me.

So, for all of the friends, the challenges and the growing moments, I want to thank Ottawa University and all of the people who have made the last three years so meaningful.

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