It’s been a pretty good four years here at Swarthmore College. Overall, I did enjoy most of my time here (barring two and a half semesters we won’t talk about for … reasons) and firmly believe I made the right choice in coming here — I met some amazing friends, grew a lot as a person, took incredible courses, and defined what I want my life to be like.
That being said, I am desperate to leave. As soon as Val Smith hands me my diploma, I will be running away. My recurring nightmares involve having to spend extra semesters here. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll miss a lot about this place: the rigorous coursework, the idyllic campus, and Parrish Beach in the spring. But I won’t miss the downsides associated with them. Rigorous coursework means studying until my eyes bleed, the idyllic campus is far from decent bubble tea, and Pennsylvania spring is only possible through Pennsylvania winter.
As a departing senior full of wisdom and unearned confidence, I wanted to end my time here with five pieces of advice for people who have yet to feel the sweet release of graduation:
1) It never hurts to send an email. If you feel unsure about whether to ask someone something, send an email! I know that I procrastinate sending a five-sentence message for weeks at a time, but a surprisingly large percentage of the time you will get a reply, and it will be a good one! I got two jobs, free concert tickets, a two-month-long semi-serious romantic relationship, and van certification just from asking. If you want something, just ask for it.
2) Join clubs. I always try to fill my free time with as many activities as possible because if I’m busy, then I don’t have time for the Thoughts ™ . You can also do this — make friends and discover passions by joining a club! I learned a lot about leadership and teamwork in my time in Quizbowl, and I think every Swattie should find a passion on campus, whether it be Quizbowl, bowling, acapella, or even Quizbowl. Please join Quizbowl. We need more members. Please.
3) Get a single. At first, I really wanted roommates to hold myself accountable and prevent myself from being disgusting and eating potato chips in my bed whilst wearing just a bathrobe. As a senior living in NPPR, however, I’ve realized that being in a single is so much better. I never have to be quiet, I can invite people over whenever I want, and if I want to decorate my room with worms on a string, a painting of Alice Paul, and a Ouija board, no one can stop me. That being said, my bed is now full of crumbs, which is not great.
4) Stupid people are the loudest people. Throughout your time interacting with the same four hundred or so people in your year, you will notice that many of them are the smartest, coolest people you’ve ever met. And a few are not. And those few are very insistent at loudly proclaiming this. Just know that there’s not that many of them, and if you can ignore them, your life gets so much better. Treat the Twitter block button like it’s your best friend.
5) Don’t download Costar, even if an e-girl on Tinder who’s really into 100 Gecs tells you to. Because then she will break your heart by telling you your signs are not compatible with hers and that it won’t work out and then you’ll eat a pint of Sharples Tofutti by yourself in the Quiet Room. Refuse to let your life be dictated by which Homestuck trollsona you identify with.
I hope that future generations of Swatties will have the same joy and growth that I did during my time here. Leaving Swat will be bittersweet, but to quote Douglas Adams, so long and thanks for all the fish [taco bar]!