As a senior about to graduate, the question most asked of me is whether or not I am excited to graduate. In all honesty, I feel apathetic. My experience in college has been twofold. As a transfer student, I split my time evenly at both Onondaga Community College and here, and because of this, my experiences at both colleges have been short. While some people may look at this as a negative, especially as I missed out on the sacred experiences of freshmen and sophomores, I look at it positively. I learned how to jump into new situations.
There is no time like the present when you know there’s not going to be a long time for something. For the first semester at Onondoga Community College, I just took classes and went home. It was a very lonely time. Most of the interactions I had were with my co-workers at the Target I worked at, a few friends at school and the occasional visit to my other friends’ colleges on weekends. I grew envious of their experiences.
By the second semester, I was signed up for several clubs, joined the honor society on campus and met new people as much as possible. When I came to Binghamton University, I had learned my lesson; I was signed up for a few clubs my first week on campus and I was meeting as many people as I could.
I learned to focus on my education. As a transfer student, I can tell you that it is very difficult to enter a new institution right after you just got the feel for a previous one. I knew all the professors, the heads of departments and the best places to study. Then, when I transferred to BU, I had to jump in and meet new friends while taking courses that were more challenging than those I had taken before. Frankly, it was a very stressful time and it showed in my GPA for my first semester here.
The second semester, however, I felt a little more relaxed and even went to my professors’ office hours. They challenged me and helped me develop myself academically to the point that I became comfortable writing for the school newspaper, something I had never dreamed of doing.
I think this is the reason for the apathy. I’m not worried about my future. After talking to many of my friends, I discovered that most of them feel excited about new opportunities, whether it be a job, gap year or graduate school, and at the same time, they are nervous for those very same reasons.
In addition, after attending both schools, I have learned not to overthink my future. Before I attended Onondoga Community College, I had the community college mindset, which means I thought college would just be an extension of high school. It turns out I could not have been more wrong. I was academically and socially challenged in more ways than I thought I ever would be.
Before I went to BU, I had in my imagination that it was going to be the greatest institution ever and I was going to have the greatest time. As I’ve written before in Pipe Dream, there have been some disappointments at BU since I began. This isn’t to say it was a bad time; it has been great, but I played it up in my imagination a bit too much.
As a senior about to graduate, my feeling of apathy has to do with my experiences. I have a job after college that is taking me across the world, and an unknown future lies ahead. I’m neither nervous nor excited for whatever it will be, because whatever it will be, it will be. In any case, both institutions have prepared me for this. No matter the situation or job, I’m ready to devote my time to it and jump right in.
Josh Hummell is a senior double-majoring in classical and Near Eastern studies and history.