By Anastasia Warren

This past weekend, friends and peers walked across the stage and into their futures.

Part of me wished that I was in their shoes.

Part of me thought I wanted to get out — to jump into what’s next because, truly, a part of me does want that. 

But part of me, a larger part, is choosing to see the good in the situation I am in.

All too often, students reach their final months in college and become jaded. They become tired of the work, they become “over it.” I, too, am a culprit of this, but it’s never too late.

It’s never too late to remember the value of the position you’re in.

Being a student at the University of Nevada — being a college student in general — is, for lack of a better term, awesome. We are among those lucky enough to have the potential to receive a degree from a Tier One institution. We are among those lucky enough to be educated at a higher level. We are among those lucky enough to be members of the Wolf Pack and residents of the transformative city of Reno.

My time at the university has been a wild ride. I’ve had my highs and I’ve had my lows. I have lost my sense of motivation and I later found it again. I have not always been the person I want to be, but I have learned who I want to become.

What I have found, is that I am happiest when I am involved on campus and in the community. Through every semester, through every year spent in Reno, I realize that my happiest times were the ones when I was giving it my all. The best days were those when I turned in something to a professor that I was proud of, the best nights were those spent at football games or beneficial seminars.

Staying involved gives you a sense of investment and pride.

As I dive into my final semester at the University of Nevada, I stand proud — proud to be a student at this institution, grateful to be able to finish my undergraduate career. I stand with a sense of purpose, an instilled sense of drive.

I encourage you to step into the rest of your education, whether it be one more semester, or three more years, and tackle it full-on. Engage on campus as much as possible. Go to every event offered. Spend time in the innovative facilities on campus. Take advantage of the campus’ beauty and all that it has to offer. Attend sporting events and yell until it hurts. Relish in the moment, have #PackPride.

Don’t become jaded with the incredible position you are in.

We’re here for a reason. Each day we walk through the doors of the buildings on campus is a gift. Each assignment we are given is propelling us toward our future. Each long night and early morning is leading us into something even greater.

Let us be thankful for our time here. Let us remember that these are the “best years of our lives.” Let us graduate with (Pack) pride in what we have done. Let us leave a mark at this institution. Let us leave a footprint, one with no regrets.

To the winter graduates — congratulations, I have no doubts that big things are about to happen in the world. To everyone else coming back for yet another round of classes — let’s get ‘er done.

Anastasia Warren studies public relations. She can be reached at dcoffey@unr.edu and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.