I remember when I got my acceptance email from Binghamton University — March 28, 2015 — I was so ecstatic, and my family was so proud of me. Growing up in New York City, my one goal was to make it to college and graduate. Now, I’d like to take some time to look back on where I’ve been. So much has changed since freshman year — like being an integrative neuroscience major, and everyone you met was an integrative neuroscience major, but now you’re a senior and no one’s an integrative neuroscience major because they all got nuked by Chemistry 231: Organic Chemistry I. I remember when the Marketplace was the only place on campus to get Starbucks, or that we used to actually get two reading days for finals rather than just the weekend. I remember when it was extremely easy to steal from dining halls. All things change, and change is inevitable in life, but how we react to the change is what we’re measured by.
The lyrics “Know yourself, know your worth” from Drake’s song “0 to 100” is the realest thing he has ever said in his career, and it’s something that I try to embody every day. I mean, no one else can be you as well as you can (I know, very cliché statements). In my pursuit of living out this quote to its fullest, I had to learn a few things. First, no one gives a shit about how weird you are; there’s always going to be someone weirder than you and it’s better to find people who like you for you rather than the you you’re trying to be. Second, college students really do have crappy attention spans, myself included. Lastly, everyone struggles, even though it might not seem like it. Staying true to myself and my values is what kept me going even when I wanted to quit.
I personally wasn’t too involved on campus, just a few organizations and clubs here and there, but eventually I joined the Bert Mitchell Minority Management Organization as their historian and then their public relations coordinator. It was here that I found the friends that I would know for the rest of my life; and I’m talking the real type of friends, the ones you can call day or night and they’d be there for you; or if you just need to shotgun a beer, they’d bring a six-pack.
I got into photography just by taking photos of friends and family, and always enjoyed it. I started to get good at it, even to the point that people wanted to pay me to take their photos. I so relished in my experience taking photos that I decided to join a photography club on campus, but realized that this wasn’t what I was looking for and stumbled upon Pipe Dream Photography. It was here that I learned about different forms of photography and gained more technical skills that I was able to take away for my freelancing. I’ve been on the paper for two years now, and it’s been one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.
Just as fast as it came is as fast as it’s gone. I am going to miss a few things once I leave BU, though: Pulling all-nighters in Glenn G. Bartle Library with friends trying to finish things that we procrastinated on. Faking being drunk to get a seat on the last bus to campus from State Street. Throwing TVs off roofs, drinking just because you’re bored and most of all, the Tully’s lady with the loudest voice in the Marketplace — “What kind of dipping sauce?”
You always hear “Your college days are going to be the best years of your life,” and honestly, if you’re not a senior and you’re reading this, I hope that you make the most out of the time that you have left here because trust me, you’ll never have the chance to do anything like this again. Like, ever.
Theo Mason is a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience.