For the past four years we’ve known what the next year would look like.
We know we have time to make mistakes. We have time to decide a major. We have time to get jobs, internships, experience.
We know we’ll have nights without and with our friends, nights crying in the library. We know we’ll eventually live on Davenport Street, even though our parents will google “Gifford Park Neighborhood” and wince, and act like we have years before we have to grow up.
But this luxury has quickly faded, and now I’m left not knowing what my next year will look like.
Now we have to leave the place and these people we’ve come to love.
Even if we swore we would never call Omaha home, the feeling we get returning to our beds in rooms that consider stolen posters and pictures taped to the walls as decor has a special place in our hearts.
Creighton is a place like no other.
We brag of the community when we catch up with friends over breaks and we probably sound ridiculous, but we know the words we speak are sincere.
Though we walk on the mall at age 18, thinking we know as much as we ever will, Creighton is a place that forces us to grow up and never leaves us feeling alone in the process.
My peers and I have experienced more in these four years than any of us could’ve predicted. We’ve come together and fallen apart, through love and loss and confusion and success and failure, all in a place we didn’t know the ins and outs of just four years ago.
Though I’m no expert on how to do college, I think it’s fair to say you’ve done it wrong if you don’t have regrets. However, my amateur advice to anyone reading this would be to do all you can to avoid regret.
Take a class you think will be too hard, it probably won’t be and if it is you will learn from the challenge.
Spend time with your friends on a Tuesday night instead of studying for your test tomorrow, one bad grade won’t kill you but the FOMO you experience just might.
And join an organization you’re passionate about but intimated by, it one day may be to you what the Creightonian was to me. It may give you the relationships and confidence you need to leave this place when your time comes. It may be the piece of Creighton you hold closest to your heart.
And when you’re in my shoes, less than four weeks from graduation and full of fear about leaving the place where you’ve grown into a person you’re finally fond of, do not think the best is behind you.
There is too much life left to be nostalgic for a place and a time we are still in.
Stay up late with your roommates and reminisce on the times you’ve had together, the ones you’ve loved and the ones you’ve regretted, because these memories, too, are a luxury that may fade as fast as the others.
But we’re lucky.
We are going into the world with a strong, Jesuit education that will guide us to make a difference in whatever way we’re meant to.
So let’s try not to stress that for the first time in a while, we don’t know our path. Instead, let’s dwell on the paths we’ve found along our way that will continue to lead us to times we will cherish (almost) as much as we cherish our years spent crossing 24th and California streets.