Friday, March 31, 2023

College taken for granted

In this week’s issue of Cardinal Points, staff writer Jessica Miles wrote a story about Plattsburgh State alumnus Matthew Gaul and his endeavors after graduation. While he is enjoying his work — “I do it for love” — he also reflected on just how valuable he considered his time at PSUC.

“It was the best four years of my life,” he said. “I regret graduating.”

For those nearing the end of their PSUC careers, this comes as a bit of a sobering reflection on a highly enjoyable experience a recent graduate had here.

While some students can’t wait to graduate and not have to go through classes any longer, there are still many who are afraid of what lies ahead — and what they’re leaving behind.

For seniors, the thought of leaving an era punctuated by youth and carefree times (more or less) is often bittersweet. As Gaul has experienced, life after academics offers plenty of fun and creative opportunities.

So how was he able to leave college life behind and transition so smoothly?

A lot of his success has to do with the enthusiasm and passion he put into his work while he was at PSUC. Professor Lauren Kiefer noted how Gaul stood out with his friendly and thoughtful personality.

For seniors, some advice: Make your final months at school count. Is there a club or organization you’ve put off doing? Join it. How about an outdoors activity, such as hiking or skiing? Find that experience and make the most of it.

So what about for newer students, all the underclassmen here at PSUC? Most reading this might be thinking that this advice doesn’t apply to them — that they have all the time in the world.

We at Cardinal Points can speak to just how fast four years can pass you by. Most have done a lot in their time, but even then, there is still that desire to do more and a reluctance to part with an institution that has given us so much.

If there’s a place you want to travel to as part of the Study Abroad program, why not do it now? Is there a club you want to start up? Approach the Student Association now and get the ball rolling.

And this doesn’t just relate to networks. Many seem to forget that living in such a heavily concentrated environment of peers and students that you interact with regularly does not last forever. Meet new friends, discard old ones (if need be) and forge relationships that can last beyond your college years.

For those in their first couple of semesters here, make sure you don’t wait to jump on opportunities — if you wait too long, they’ll pass you by before you know it.

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