They say that college is the best four years of your life. That’s a depressing thought, considering the average life expectancy for Americans leaves me with about 50 years of not the best years of my life to live for.
Putting that aside, I didn’t even get to enjoy the best four years of my life. I got one. After spending two years at the Eastman School of Music – an experience that had an uncanny resemblance to high school – and a year living in the Graduate Living Center, I finally found my “place” at UR.
Unlike my peers, I never experienced freshman housing. I wasn’t funneling beers at 18, Uncle Dicky never took my picture and for the longest time, I thought D-Day really was just a spring carnival. I was oblivious to all of the things that make college “college.”
By the end of my junior year, it occurred to me that I was going to graduate in a year, having totally missed out on the “college experience.” That’s when I had an epiphany. I had to live out four years of college in one.
I arrived at school in August and then unpacked my things in my room on the first floor of Burton – chosen for its prime location and the fact that it would be easier to manage one flight of stairs drunk. After all, I planned on consuming four years’ worth of Genny Creams. That’s when I set to work compiling a list of things that I must accomplish before graduating.
A number of the things on my “to do” list involved questionable activities. My close friends and those who participated with me know what they are. High-fives all around! For the rest of you, use your imagination. The majority of my plans were part of the clich UR experience. Think “long walks” by the river, turning the PRR into a “PR Bar” and 3 a.m. garbage plates.
I made it a goal to participate in every on- and off-campus activity that my time and flex would allow. I lost my Boar’s Head, MELA, senior night and student government virginity within a matter of months. I heard Vice President Burgett’s “Fiery Furnace” speech and sang the Genesee song.
On a personal level, I wanted to make a lot of new friends, strengthen old friendships and repair damaged ones. I will leave with lifelong friendships, priceless memories and no bad blood.
The year is almost over and I will graduate in a month. This year has been the best year of my entire life. There have been ups and downs, but mostly ups. I have no regrets. Looking back on my year, it has occurred to me that if all of the graduates live the next 50 years of our lives the same manner we lived the best ones – to the fullest – there will never be any not-so-best years of our lives.
Gorode can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.