As I reminisce about my four years at the University of Miami, countless memories and lessons learned race through my head.
I didn’t dream of attending UM because I went to elementary and high school less than three miles from campus. I wanted change and a real “college experience.” Now, I truly can’t imagine myself anywhere else. The life lessons, friends, experiences and opportunities I have gained from this university, as well as from its students, faculty and administrators, are absolutely invaluable.
I’ve studied literature from around the world, and how to be a thorough and ethical journalist. I’ve run through the sprinklers on the intramural fields in the middle of the night. I’ve sung the alma mater during Homecoming at the old Rat. I’ve traveled to Tallahassee to see the Canes defeat the Seminoles. I’ve seen the Dalai Lama, President Barack Obama and (best of all) Billy Joel walk beneath our campus’ palm trees.
But most of all, I can’t believe how blessed I was to be the editor-in-chief of an award-winning student newspaper, to work three years with an incredibly talented staff, or to learn the lessons that I have while working at The Miami Hurricane.
None of these incredible memories would have been possible if I remained the unabatedly shy freshman that I was in 2008. But thanks to a memorable summer program called Great Start and the helpful friends I made there, I began to step outside of my comfort zone.
It’s never too late to make the best of your experience here at UM.
Once you integrate yourself into the Hurricane family, college will be a rewarding and meaningful experience. Join a student organization that celebrates your culture, serves the community, or helps make UM a better place. Forge relationships with your professors, who can help lead you to a bright future. Embrace the green and orange culture and don’t feel too cheesy when you cheer for our Hurricanes.
But most importantly: Don’t be afraid of new experiences or new people.
Thank you to our readers, the phenomenal newspaper staff and our adviser for an amazing college experience at The Miami Hurricane.
Alexa Lopez is a senior majoring in journalism and English literature. She will be a reporting intern at The Miami Herald after graduation. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.