An Open Letter To The 5th-Year Senior

An Open Letter To The 5th-Year Senior

"Every year, many, many stupid people graduate from college. And if they can do it, so can you." - John Green


To the seniors who aren't graduating at the time they anticipated, the universe works in mysterious ways and I can assure you that everything happens for a reason.

I know, how cliche of me to say that and you're probably thinking I have no idea what it feels like to be a "5th-year super senior," but for someone who's had their graduation pushed back twice, I can now proudly say it's one of the best things to ever happen to me during undergrad.

Of course, there is the initial stage of frustration mixed heavily with anger and sadness. I'm not going to sit here and pretend like I was actually okay with the same advisor telling me not once, but twice that I wasn't going to graduate this semester. It undeniably sucked watching my best friends graduate and it sucked, even more, watching them move back home to have all the time in the world to focus on themselves while I was stuck on the fifth floor of Strozier studying for finals until 4 a.m. I've missed birthdays, concerts for artists who will probably never tour again, and for a while, I felt like I was in this never-ending loop destined to be stuck in undergrad forever, but here I am, graduating soon and everything up until this point felt like a blessing in disguise.

When we begin undergrad, we're told it takes four years to get your bachelors. You're supposed to take x amount of classes by x time and then that's it, but it truly doesn't really work like that. Everyone's collegiate path is different. Things come up in our lives and we have to take a semester off. Sometimes we think the major we originally chose as a freshman is something we want to do for the rest of our lives when it isn't, so we change majors. The financial burden of accumulating debt is troublesome, and sometimes we have to work full time just to pay for part-time classes. Whatever your reasoning may be––things happens––and that's perfectly okay; you have to make the best of it, or else it will eat you alive and bring you down to your lowest.

As I reflect back on my fifth year, I think about all the things that never would have happened if I graduated a year ago. I think about all the friends I've made; all the night outs and times spent in the library joking around. I think about the incredible opportunities I've had like networking and internships; people who have mentored me and taught me better. I don't really think about where my life would be if I did graduate a year ago because, in the end, the extra year spent here has only made me a better person.

Own your 5th year, senior.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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USC Should Be Embarrassed About All Of Their Scandals

Instead they play themselves as the victim


Let me start off by saying: I'm sick of hearing about all the scandals coming from USC.

It's shameful. The administration should be ashamed. Professors should be ashamed. Speaking as a student (who probably has the same thoughts as many of the other students)-- I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed that one of the biggest things that my school is known for is for its scandals.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you would have heard about the recent college scandal involving multiple elite schools, USC is one of them. This involves over 50 people who are involved in somehow falsifying admission records through bribes-- such as falsifying ACT/SAT scores and having coaches list students as a recruit (when the said student had no previous athletic experience).

This is in light of recent scandals-- defamed deans of the Keck School of Medicine (one for illegal drug use and another for sexual harassment allegations), the sexual abuse scandal involving George Tyndall and the most recent scandal involving the humiliation of queer individuals in the Engemann Health Center. This ultimately led (besides the most recent scandal that came to light in 2019) to C. L. Max Nikias resignation as president after eight years serving as such.

Who is the victim in this situation? Definitely not USC who we all know get thousands of dollars and "donations" to their school-- an amount that should be enough to have more than 63% of students on financial aid, to build better study spaces for students, to create a sustainable college campus that is supposedly promised to undergraduates living in a certain apartment area a compositing disposable when it was taken away in the first few weeks OR even by having no recycle bins readily available to students living in apartments.

USC can do better. As a school that charges $75,000 tuition-- where is all that money going?

So who is the victim if not USC? The students here are, especially those who were unfairly rejected just because USC could not detect a student with false grades and extracurriculars.

Do I feel sorry for Olivia Jade, daughter to Lori Loughlin? No, I do not. Yes, she may not have had any significant involvement in this scandal, but she in no way was motivated to actually excel at USC-- a notion that is laughably common at USC. Every student at USC, specifically those first-generation or minority students who feel like some sort of imposter by attending USC, have encountered privileged students who are only attending for the tailgates and frat parties. But what's even more shameful is that the administration keeps turning a blind eye to "rich-kid" privilege and continue to step over the needs of their minority students.

I will admit though that Interim President Wanda M Austin and other administrative leaders are making an effort, to at least make this situation a bit better for the students-- an example would be the decision to bar any current applicants involved in this scandal as well as money donations to target underprivileged students.

Although I disagree with Austin's sentiment that USC is the victim in this, I think, especially with this national exposure, that it is prime time that the administration steps in to prevent these issues and to rethink their admission process. In order for USC to continue climbing in prestige, they have to make a choice as to whether they will continue to be involved in heavy money "donations" or whether their focus will be to provide the best education for the bright students who apply to the school, especially the underprivileged.

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