End of semester offers life lessons in and out of classroom


How do you say goodbye to the world you called your home for four years?

This is a question thousands face in the final days of the semester. Goodbye blogs are popping up all over the place from reminiscent students, reflecting on their experiences thus far in college.

I am no different. I stepped onto the NIU campus in August 2004, toting rope lights, extra-long twin sheets and all of the other items magazines called “must-haves.” Now, the time has come for me to move on.

It’s hard to measure one lesson against another. Are the lessons from class more important than those in real life? Practically speaking, of course, the lessons I learned in class are more valuable; they brought, along with a diploma, the promise of nice things like a job with dental insurance. In another sense, however, the lessons learned clad in my pajamas in the hallways of the dorms proved more valuable.

I thought it best to pay homage to some of these less conventional lessons in my final column for this newspaper. So, without further adieu …

Sometimes, despite your landlord’s pompous confidence suggesting otherwise, you can get away with patching holes in the wall yourself.

Sticking an hour between each of your classes to grab food, chill out or work on homework just might be the biggest waste of time imaginable. You will spend most of those days convincing yourself going to class is important.

Potato peelings have no place in a garbage disposal. However, if they do end up in there, flirting with the maintenance man is the best option for getting out of a charge.

Other students will take more serious and heartfelt lessons with them.

“The most important lesson I’ve learned is to be yourself at all times and be comfortable with it,” said Dina Gioules, a senior allied health professions major. “I have made friends here at NIU that I know will be in my life for many years to come.”

As my fellow seniors prepare to pack up those rope lights and move on to official adulthood, I urge you all to take a moment and think about the lessons you’ve learned during your time here in the land of corn. It’s been a wild ride.