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Reflecting on my college experience

TW: Suicide 

The day that changed my life for the better in many areas of my personal growth, was Nov. 25, 2023: the day I attempted to take my life. The thing that stopped me was the quote: “There is part of you that wants to live.” That is indeed true, and I have discovered many other reasons for moving forward as well. 

This past Tuesday, when I was walking back from the dining hall with my friends, we discussed aspects of self-growth. Thinking about this topic led me to reflect on my college experience as I prepare to graduate. Over the past four years, my faith and confidence have grown exponentially, and even more so in the past few months. I have been bound by the Lord to have immense abilities of education, friendships and just being present. Throughout my undergraduate career, I came into university wanting to be a lawyer, but the prospects did not pan out, as I realized it was not a life for me. Some career options I’m interested in potentially pursuing are a diplomat or town manager, specializing in urban planning and optimization. 

I look upon my experience in the political clubs on campus. In my honest opinion, let them fade into the plane of nonexistence. The political clubs on campus, in my opinion, have members who have been nothing more than opportunists out for power of their own and not the best interest of public service. To paraphrase former President George H.W. Bush, “Public service is the most noble experience.” As for the current crop of students within political clubs, I hope none go into public service ever. Not saying all fit this mold as a very few are good from my experience, but the rest definitely do. I hope better people come along and revive the political scenery, but if the current state continues, let them fade off, UMaine will be better off without them. 

As I look back on my experience within student government, I want to recognize that the executive team and many on the General Student Senate are great people. Many executives are graduating to greener pastures, and I wish them good luck in their future endeavors. This year was very productive in what has been accomplished by a great caliber of leadership from top to below. I will be gone, but I am excited to see the new crop of leadership for the coming year and read from time to time about their success. Please get involved with student government if you are considering being more involved on campus. 

Regarding my faith, as I have stated, my revival of faith has been something true and personal I hold deeply. Granted, I am a baptized Methodist due to my late mother, but I enjoy the community Black Bear Catholics have fostered since my second year. The friendships from the club have been extraordinary and the Bible study group I have attended this semester has had great topics of discussion on the Bible. We all have different doctrinal views of the Bible as to how it is interpreted. 

The friendships I have developed over my time will be something I will cherish and hold dear throughout my life. The laughter, pain and crying it out has made for many meaningful relationships. One of them this semester I reconciled with and despite everything, I have out of several, meaningful friendships. That is the joyous part of life in knowing people of various interests and viewpoints to make the day better. Meeting people with similar interests has improved my experience drastically. I know with life some of the friendships existing will fade, as that is natural, but the ones I have made mostly will stick forever is my hope.

As I look towards May 4, when I will be marching into the cathedral of the university, Alfond Arena, I leave here with bittersweetness; I’m excited to graduate, but I will miss the people and faculty who have shaped me as a person. Additionally, my late mother, I was nine when she passed on, but the effects from then have continued shaping me as I forge my own path with her smiling down above. But my educational career is not over as I head off to grad school at Syracuse University for International Relations and Public Administration. This ends one chapter of my book and a new one will open of being an experience that will forever impact me further.

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