Columns / Discourse / April 22, 2015

Sitting with the seniors: Reflections on college life

Most of the senior students at Knox might have felt melancholic at some point because they are supposed to go into the real world after graduation this June. Four years of academic experiences at Knox will really help senior students find their own way of life in the future.

As younger students, it is important for us to do our best for future graduation so we can be in a good place for our senior year. Some senior students have already been accepted to graduate schools where they wanted to go, while others have already received job offers from real companies. It looks like many senior students have been prepared to start a new journey after Knox.  I know one of the senior students here, Caleb Wiedner, and decided to talk to him about his feelings. Let us listen to Caleb’s story to get some lessons.

Caleb said that he has been very happy to be ready to graduate in June, these days. He has been quite happy to move on to Loyola Law School this July. He has been satisfied with his academic experiences at Knox for the last four years; he thinks he is a lucky person to be here at Knox. It’s because he met Professor Lane Sunderland, a political science professor, who was able to teach Caleb his favorite subject: constitutional law.

Caleb found the class was very helpful for him to learn about how theories are applied to law institutions in the USA. He could interpret a lot of cases by using those theories, and he realized that it is an individual’s right to be prioritized for law cases. He learned to use the organized set of laws and precedents to interpret individual cases.

What Caleb Wiedner wanted to tell freshmen is to try to figure out what is an interesting academic field that they want to study. He wanted to tell sophomores that they should focus on their interests rather than being distracted by others’ views and opinions. To juniors, he wanted to say that they should concentrate on their majors and minors to design their future life plans at least 5 years after college (be it graduate school, more academic life or a company worker’s practical life). He also added that sometimes it’s a natural feeling for everyone to feel like they want to give up in the middle of the road for their long-term dream.

However, if you give your dream up, you’ll end up like so many people that have regretted their life. The only way to reach our life goals is not to stop our progress on improving our skills and changing plans for achieving our life goals. The winner in a life race is the one who doesn’t stop learning and growing up in terms of creating his or her life values.

Caleb does have some regrets about Knox, however. In his first year, he struggled to adapt to the college system, particularly with the testing. I had a lot of sympathy because of my struggle at the start of my first-year as well. College is a different style of social institution from high school. People from all different backgrounds interact and it can be hard not to lose your sense of self. It’s as if we are in a swimming competition in an ocean, but every person has a different final destination.

College has a system for entering and leaving in a constant cycle, meaning we are always meeting new people as we say goodbye to others. Sometimes, we can feel baffled about where to go and how to prepare for our future life. College is a place where we should find our own way and methods to discover our future.

No one can predict their future. Only people who can think thoroughly about their life’s values can lead their life through the big sea-like college years. 

I hope that Knox graduates will find their life road on the right direction for realizing their life values. And that other Knox students will follow the footsteps of senior students in the future.

Josh Ji

Tags:  constitutional law dreams goals graduation law school priorities reflection Senior year Students

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