By Abby Feenstra
This is it, class of 2015. All we have left at this point are our last round of finals. We have less than two weeks until we’re walking across the quad. In fact, two weeks from this exact date, many of us will be starting our first official “adult” job, starting to pack up for a big move or registering for grad school classes in the fall. The future is no longer the future. The future is now.
As we decorate our caps, plan our parties, accept congratulatory gifts and enter the champagne-induced haze that is graduation weekend (thanks in advance, Little Waldorf), it’s easy to get caught up in this future that is suddenly not so much the future anymore.
Yes, graduation is, in a sense, a celebration of what is to come. An alternate meaning of the word “commencement” is “a beginning or a start.” We are beginning the rest of our lives in 10 or 11 very short days. We should absolutely be honoring that. But we also need to remember that this beginning could not be possible without our alma mater.
I know we’re all suffering from a fairly crippling case of senioritis at this point. I know the majority of us simply cannot wait to GTFO.
I know many graduates are planning on moving far, far away, too far to come back for a football game. I know we’re all already feeling kind of hustled by the Nevada Alumni Association, and giving back to the university is the last thing on the mind of someone who might not be sure where their life is taking them after May 15 and 16.
But the University of Nevada is part of all of us now. Whether or not you look back on your undergraduate experience here with fondness, your undergraduate experience was still here. You would not have that job, or be moving to that new place or be registering for that graduate school, if you had not spent the last four (or five…) years of your life at Nevada.
Your choice to attend this university influenced and shaped all of the choices you’ve made since, including the ones that led you to your post-undergraduate life path. And, while we’ve all worked extremely hard to get to this point, the university has worked hard on us, too. Our alma mater has invested in us as much as we’ve invested in her, and we shouldn’t forget that for a second.
I’m not arguing for a massive cash donation to the university. I understand a lot of us have some uncertainty in regards to income at this point. I’m just arguing for loving your alma mater, and not simply forgetting about everything that was your undergraduate adventure after you walk across that stage. Wherever your path may take you after you leave Nevada, don’t forget about the university that made that path possible for you.
When someone asks you where you got your undergraduate degree, say Nevada loud and proud. Throw up that wolf sign whenever you can. Wear alumni gear. And remember everything that was your undergraduate experience here. I’m not going to say these last few years were the best years of your life, because I know we all have great things to come in that future that is no longer the future. But college was a damn good time, and we should never forget that. Thank you, University of Nevada.
Abby Feenstra studies English literature and women’s studies. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.