A senior’s parting words of wisdom

It’s 3:30 in the morning, in the last week of class, and unlike my friend Jorge Arauz last year, I am not drunk. I’m trying like hell to convince myself that the English essay I have due soon-the last one I’ll ever write-is important. I have come to the conclusion that it really isn’t, I’m outta here in a few weeks, and everything is already set in stone for me. Sorry Dr. Glimp, love your class, but this one isn’t going to be a knockout.

So it has been four years. It’s a small number, but it’s pretty hard to fathom what it represents. In my case, and many others, it represents boundless growth-both personally and academically. Looking from point A, checking into Stanford Residential College four years ago, to point B, right now writing this column, it’s mind boggling the journey that foolish and immature little boy went on. I learned valuable lessons along the way, and feel compelled to share some-take it for what it’s worth.

Underclassmen: your time is limited, make it count. Get involved, go Greek, run for Student Government, write for The Hurricane, volunteer. Never skip a home football game, and certainly never leave one early. Go to Tallahassee once to watch the rivalry from their turf, skip classes if you have to. Be yourselves; I spent nearly three years attempting to be something else-you can’t get that time back. Most importantly, carry the torch. President Shalala has graduated her first start to finish class, the University is becoming more respected every day, make your contribution to the legacy.

Fellow soon-to-be University of Miami alumni: Remember your roots. Think back to how much the University of Miami has done for us in the past years. When things got rough, it was there for us. When friends lost parents and couldn’t afford to continue, money miraculously appeared for them to remain. When Hurricanes devastated many UM families, unsolicited offers of financial help were received. The list rambles on. Remember your alma mater; give back so that it can continue to give to the next generation.

Don’t stop at giving either; be fervent in defense of our school. Be proud. Represent the University of Miami everywhere. Never let fellow alumni pass you by without saying hello and introducing yourself-and most importantly, no matter where you move to, where you go to grad school, or who you marry; always root for the orange and green.

This journey is nearly over, and the next segment of life waits to be tackled by the newest wave of University of Miami Graduates. The senior class is ready, and to those of you that are following behind us, we’ll be waiting for you at the top.

Don Donelson can be contacted at d.donelson@umiami.edu.