My time at Trinity was whirlwind to say the least. I feel like I have almost done a complete 180 in terms of my view on life since I first stepped onto campus.

To think that I’m about to enter the “real world” is a scary thought. I came into school knowing exactly what I wanted to major in (music education) and exactly what I wanted to do after school (teach high school orchestra). While music is still my number one, I’m figuring out where to go from here: possibly back to that track, but with all the new wisdom I’ve gathered here, who really knows? If I don’t, you sure don’t.

I am going to share some of the nuggets of wisdom that I’ve gained from being at Trinity over these past four years.

First, you WILL change. Going home won’t feel the same. You will lose touch with friends you never thought you would. That sucks. But at the same time, you’re changing into the person you (hopefully) want to be, leaving your childhood behind and really becoming something bigger than you imagined.

Embrace the change. Let go of people that are dragging you down. Surround yourself with the kind of support you need. It’s out there. I found mine in places and faces I never thought possible.

Second, try something DIFFERENT. I’m sure most of your minds went straight to alcohol or drugs and that could be a potential path, but I mean in your daily life. Go to the party you never thought you’d go to or stay in one night if you’ve been out. Learn a new skill. Go to a new restaurant. Dye your hair. Whatever. Just do it. Life’s too short for regrets! Even if you regret it, you can look back later and say, “Well, I was in college, what did you expect?”

Third, BE YOU. I feel that I spent too much time wanting to be like someone else and not be me. I turned into someone I never thought I’d be (even two years ago), but I love myself now more than I ever have.

Fourth, you don’t have to know everything. Learn as much as you can and engage in discussion. Life is too short for ignorance. Educate yourself in all areas of life, not just in school.

Shout out to my boys — Matt, Jeremy and Jeremy. You’ve taught me to chill out. You have no idea how much I needed that.

To my music education seniors — we did it! We survived! Who thought we’d actually see the day?

Mu Phi — thank you for always being accepting of the weird things I say and do.

My partner in crime, Lauren — thanks for all you have done for me this year. You never questioned any of my weirdness and interesting habits, nor my obsession with the Internet and my random sing-speak.

And of course I couldn’t forget to talk about my Trinitonian family. You all put up with my crap on a daily basis (and I put up with yours—Joe and Brian). Each of you make going to the newsroom fun and definitely do not make it feel like work. Lydia, thanks for breaking me out of my socially awkward shell. I had more fun with you and your friends than I had in a LONG time (and the fun shall continue).

Enjoy your time at Trinity folks, because it’ll be gone before you know it!

Carly Cowen is graduating with a degree in music education.