SELWAY: Iz sayin mai goodbyz

 

 

Kimberly Selway

For every college senior, the few remaining days of the last semester pass both too slowly and too quickly. Class suddenly seems futile, but at the same time, the daunting finality of graduation causes everything to move at warp speed.

In spite of all this focus on the future, my natural reaction has been to think about the past four years, trying to piece together how it was that we all ended up where we are.

Looking back, the first few weeks of freshman year were so uncertain. It was inevitable to think that the way life was in the beginning was the way things would always be, that the people we clung to originally would be the people we stuck with through college. As you can imagine, those first perceptions didn’t quite pan out the way I thought.

I first got involved with this newspaper two weeks into freshman year. After one really embarrassing picture in Coffee Break, I joined the business staff, and by second semester, I was on the editorial board.

Without any journalism experience, I wasn’t exactly sure why anyone would want to give me a place here, and those first deadline nights were certainly a learning experience.

At a meeting with my Core Humanities professor freshman year to discuss a recent assignment, she said to me, “It’s a good thing you’re a business major because, in all honesty, you can’t write.” I’d like to think that my abilities have improved even just a little bit and that the editorials and articles I’ve written for The Villanovan on the Virginia Tech massacre, Fair Trade, acclaimed professors and Kentucky-Derby-winning horses weren’t all in vain.

I really hope I’ve proved my professor wrong, but she was right about one thing. She told my class that if you really pay attention to the changes in the freshmen between first and second semester, you’ll notice the girls and guys beginning to put more effort into their appearance, new groups of friends forming and lo and behold, the Villanova stereotype spreading into a new class. It’s the unavoidable impact that this University has on people.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not trying to criticize my peers based purely on physical characteristics. Personally, I’ve owned one too many pairs of oversized sunglasses.

But last time I checked, Sienna Miller was not enrolled in the University. So why is everyone wearing her pants? Burn the skinny jeans. Now.

Regardless of what fashion trends come and go, I think that the change is more than just a physical aesthetic. As each year of college passes, we all become new versions of ourselves. Every year brings a different residence hall or apartment and the potential for a different circle of friends.

How these new relationships ultimately impact who we are individually is completely up to us. I’m not sure if it’s the social dynamic on campus or the constant pressure to succeed, but there’s always that push to make yourself a better person.

Depending on how you react to that pressure, the people around you have the ability to help you better see yourself.

For me, the pressure to become a caricature of who I used to be was alleviated by working for this newspaper. My entire tenure at Villanova has been scheduled around budget meetings on Sundays and late Tuesday production nights. I’d like to think my involvement kept me out of trouble. Not to say that somehow my experience has been nobler than that of any of my classmates, but I think that having a constant perspective within this environment has definitely been a benefit.

It’s easy to get caught up in the immediacy of the present. There are times when I see people who I once regarded as irreplaceable among my circle of friends who for various reasons I see only in passing. It’s a nostalgic feeling – not a bitter one – but a sadness exists just the same.

In retrospect, my advice to those similarly feeling that life here is passing us by is just to keep that perspective on what is important to you. As Bas Luhrman said in “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen),” a middle school favorite, “the older you get, the more you need people who knew you when you were young.” And I think it also applies to the time between your first year of college and graduation.

At this point, what I’d really like is for Senior Week to seem eerily similar to those first few weeks here, without all the anxiety of being in a new place. But I digress. My thoughts and suggestions are based on my own haphazard experience in this life, so take it with a grain of salt.

But trust me on the skinny jeans.

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Kimberly Selway is a senior MIS major from Austin, Texas. She can be reached at [email protected]