So here we are â€“ at the end of a long road, although I suspect that my road might have been quite a bit longer than most of yours.
I came to Trinity in 2010 as a transfer student after receiving my associateâ€™s degree in Communications (yes, Dr. Henderson, there is an â€˜sâ€™ at the end of that one) at Palo Alto and after serving quite a few years in the Army. I have never formally conducted a survey on this, but I remain convinced that I am the oldest undergrad student on this campus (somebody please tell me Iâ€™m wrong).
I came to Trinity determined to make the most of my time here. It was a minor miracle I was able to attend Trinity in the first place, so I was not going to waste my time or education. I wanted to get involved, challenge myself and learn as much as I could.
For the most part, I think I achieved the goals I set for myself at the beginning, I never did anything crazy like rush a sorority, but being a reporter and editor for the Trinitonian got me more involved and immersed in the campus than anything else I could have done â€“ maybe a little too immersed at times (Thursday nights at midnight are no fun when youâ€™re stuck down in the newsroom putting pages together and thereâ€™s no margarita in sight).
I know I challenged myself. I took on a double major while still supporting myself (parents tend to frown on continuing to support you financially after you reach a certain age â€“ remember that). No matter what homework I had, I still had bills that had to be paid. I often sacrificed sleep and partying with my friends for my GPA. It wasnâ€™t always fun, but in the end I did what I had to do.
And I know I learned a lot. My classes challenged me to think in ways I hadnâ€™t considered before. They challenged my beliefs and the things I thought I knew. I have done things I didnâ€™t think were possible, and Iâ€™ve had encouragement and support every step of the way.
As a result, Iâ€™m leaving Trinity an educated, confident person ready to take on the world in new ways. Thereâ€™s a lot more that defines me now than just being a veteran (and possibly the oldest undergrad on campus).
At the risk of sounding clichÃ©, these truly are the best years of your life. Trust me, Iâ€™ve been in the real world, guys, itâ€™s not as much fun as college (but there is less homework so itâ€™s a definite trade-off). So, seniors, I hope you made the most of this time. If not, itâ€™s too late now. Go to grad school and try again.
As for me, Iâ€™m off to my next great adventure. Iâ€™m headed to Russia in September on a Fulbright grant â€“ the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, sacrifice and probably some blood, sweat and tears along the way. Believe me, itâ€™s all been worth it. (Iâ€™ll try to remember I said that when Iâ€™m sitting in some hovel in Siberia next winter.)
Kellie Benn is the Trinitonian News Editor. She graduating with degrees in Russian and communication.