Four years, sometimes five, is all you get to make that transition from teenager to semi-functional adult. As my time at the University of Miami comes to an end, the word that best describes how I feel is grateful. I’m grateful for everything I’ve experienced these past four years, the good, bad and unusual, because they’ve provided me a unique college experience and helped shape me into the young adult I am today.
While you’re here, embrace everything, even the obstacles that may oppose you. This is a time to make mistakes with reduced consequences. Don’t be discouraged by them but learn from them and keep pressing forward. Some of the best moments of my undergraduate career have come on the heels of my greatest letdowns. I’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff and that no one is perfect. Give everything your all and be content knowing that you did everything you could.
UM is a school of vast resources, so utilize them. I’m not talking solely about the facilities, though they are top-notch, but also about the people. My UM career wouldn’t be complete without those who took the time out to mentor me. Our professors and administrators have a vast wealth of knowledge to share, but you have to be willing to put yourself out there and go get it. Don’t be afraid to talk to them; they are normal people like you and me, and they are here to help.
My final bit of advice is to find what motivates you and surround yourself with people who will help you grow because “iron sharpens iron.” What motivated and helped me get through is my faith; for you, it may be something else. Whatever it is, find it and never let go of it.
Enjoy this time while you can because it’ll be gone before you know it.
Taylor Duckett is a senior majoring in business law.