Congratulations Class of 2007

Laura Welch

May 20, 2007. After countless hours of sitting through class, even longer hours studying, the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on tuition and the priceless friendships and memories formed, the culmination of it all is a mere 17 days away. The thought of graduation quickly approaching tends to send some seniors into frenzy. Those in denial have insisted for months that the event only be referred to as “the g-word.” Other seniors have chosen to embrace the short time they have left as collegiates by going out with friends and reminiscing about old times. It is difficult to believe that Villanova has changed in four short years, but indeed the Villanova that the Class of 2007 came to is not the same as the one they will leave. Tuition has increased, the percentage accepted has decreased and technology has advanced.”By this time, lots of people are going out like five nights a week,” says senior marketing and international studies double major Heather Keane. “We were just talking about all that has changed around here.” When the Class of 2007 moved into the residence halls in the fall of 2003, landline phones were actually utilized, unlike the obsolete phone jacks students have come to ignore. Keane remembers that music also had a different medium, as iPods had not quite hit the mainstream.”I definitely came to school with my Discman and my boom box,” Keane recalls while her best friend and fellow senior Shannon Roulston laughs nearby. “It’s okay, Keane,” Roulston says. “I had a CD rack I used freshman year that still sits in my apartment because it looks cool, but it has nothing in it.” The way students accessed the Internet is another significant change the Class of 2007 has witnessed during their time at Villanova. In 2003 and 2004, wireless Internet on campus was rare in comparison to how readily available it is now. In the past, no residence halls had wireless, and only a limited number of buildings, including Bartley and Falvey, were wireless compatible. Ask a senior where he or she lived his or her freshman year and you may be surprised. St. Mary’s used to be completely freshmen and served as the Villanova Experience residence hall. St. Monica is presently the leadership residence hall but was used as an all-girls hall just four years ago while the currently co-ed Katharine was all male students. After laughing about their now out-of-date music from freshman year and how St. Mary’s residence hall used to be the “party dorm,” the two senior girls begin to exchange “remember-when’s.” “Remember the beginning of freshman year everyone on campus played in the mud when the power went out? There was a hurricane and everyone was just mud sliding and playing football … The showers were all black after,” Keane says.”Well how about the shoebox living of the Quad … My roommate and I had an air conditioner we brought, and they never knew. Well, the RA saw it, but she didn’t say anything. I am still friends with that RA,” Roulston says.”Oh, how about the dumpsters outside the Quad being set on fire the last day sophomore year? They made everyone go inside but I ordered Domino’s so the only guy out there then was the delivery guy. I was like, ‘let him in!’ ” Keane remembers. Both girls erupt into laughter. Listening to the soon-to-be alumni recollect old times, you can’t help but feel like you are watching one of those sitcom finales in which the screen fades out into a flashback. The same feelings of nostalgia are permeated as the memories keep on coming. You can almost hear the graduation march softly begin to play, all these moments flashing before the graduates’ eyes as they walk the aisle. In later years, it is these same memories that will come back to them when they walk around campus as alumni with their spouses and children. “I can’t wait to come back 10 years from now and see how everything has changed, or not changed,” says Keane. “I am going to miss it. I will miss the free time, but mostly I will miss my best friends not being in such close proximity.” Roulston adds, “It’s that feeling like, ‘What do I do now, without everyone?’ My life is here; it is all here.” It is understandable that seniors are sad to graduate. College is arguably the most fun you will have during your life. But like most things in life, the occasion is bittersweet. Graduation means hopefully receiving a regular paycheck, meeting new and interesting people, not having your whole life contained in one square mile and the end to being judged purely objectively. Seniors are looking forward to the perks of the real world.”This is the first time your next course of action isn’t planned out for you,” Roulston says. “It is exciting, you don’t know what is going to happen … life is an open book.”