Tag: graduation (page 1 of 2)

“My Senior Year Bucket List” by Brittany Connely

As the fall semester gets even closer to ending, it reminds me just how short my time left here at the University of Delaware is. It feels like just yesterday that I was a freshman walking into the Honors dorm, ready to begin a new chapter of my life. Now, I’m applying to internships, full-time jobs, and figuring out what direction I want my life to go in. However, while time feels faster than ever, I want to take the time to remember my past four years at UD and enjoy my last one. So, to do this, I came up with a bucket list of four things that I want to do by the end of Spring Semester before walking across that graduation stage. Continue reading

“My Most Valuable College Lessons” by Lorraine Capenos

Here in my last semester at UD, I find myself doing a lot of reflection about my time spent here in college. It has been a long journey filled with highs and lows, and so many learning experiences. I have worked very hard to push myself out of my comfort zone and grow as much as possible. That’s what these years are for, right?

Some lessons I’ve learned have been little, like the necessity of tidying your room and the importance of getting enough sleep. Other learning experiences have been bigger, such as the value of confrontation in relationships and how vital it is to put your own needs first.

These last few years I have met so many important people: people who impacted me greatly in a short period of time, and people who I know will continue to grow with me and teach me lessons long after graduation. Of the lessons I have learned from others, these are the few that stick out:

  • Don’t judge a book by its cover (this one seems intuitive, but some very important people have proven this to me, time and time again).
  • Some people will not be in your life for long, but you will carry their lessons with you for the rest of your life.
  • Every single person you meet is an entire universe. We all have strengths and weaknesses, moments when we feel like heroes, and moments when we feel like the bad guys. Caring about someone is sticking it out with them.
  • Some people will resist your growth or try to hold you back because you are changing too fast for them to keep up with. Not everyone will understand the decisions you make. Do what’s best for you anyway.
  • How other people act toward you is usually more about themselves than about you.

Continue reading

“Why and How I Decided to Graduate Early” by Lorraine Capenos

Throughout high school and my first year of college, I always intended to spend four years getting my bachelor’s degree. I had no intention of graduating early; I hadn’t even given it any thought. A couple years later, I find myself approaching my final semester in college, before I graduate a year early with my bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with Honors. I stumbled upon the possibility of graduating in three years rather accidentally, as I was sifting through my degree requirements and preparing to register for classes for sophomore spring semester. As I planned out which courses I would be taking during which semesters, I found myself stuck. I didn’t have any classes left to take by the time I got around to my fourth year. The moment I realized this was right about the moment I started talking to my parents and advisors about graduating early. And then it just kind of happened. And now I’m graduating early.

There are a few major factors contributing to my early graduation: Continue reading

Winds in the East

Writer’s block: we’ve all experienced this frustrating phenomenon, we’ve all spent hours staring at a blank Word Document and a blinking cursor.

At least, I assume we all have. If anyone out there in Internet-land has gone an entire lifetime without any sort of writer’s block, make yourself known so I can congratulate you and give you a giant cookie.

Even SpongeBob has fallen victim to writer’s block.

Even SpongeBob has fallen victim to writer’s block.

Anyway, before writing this blog, I psyched myself out to the point of a particularly severe bout with this unfortunate affliction.

The reason? This is my last post – ever – for UD’s South College Blog. *Sniff* I want it to perfectly represent everything my writing stands for, state great philosophical truths, and propose a solution for world hunger. All in that order.

Basically, long story short: I had over a million embryonic ideas, but I wasn’t sure if any of them were worthy of being Caitlyn’s Final Blog.

The cycle of thoughts tumbling around inside my head went a little something like this: “I know, I could write about…my first Zumba class of the semester! Or…the stress of finals! Yeah! No. Too mainstream. Hmm…I got it! A how-to piece about surviving a lack of job prospects! Wait…that’s depressing. Uh…leaving my friends here in Delaware? My recent group project about Jimmy Fallon? …Finals?”gradecard

Also, the main thing on my mind, besides exams and papers, was (and still is) the Ceremony-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. *Shudder*

So, without further ado, here is one of those initial, budding ideas – which includes its fair share of nostalgia. It’s like a blog within a blog (I’m feeling meta).

Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane

When there’s hardly no day, nor hardly no night…There’s things half in shadow, and halfway in light…

new amst

When I first walked into the New Amsterdam Theatre, I couldn’t contain my excitement.

The set reminded me of the sensation of holding’s one breath – the empty street was waiting, anticipating a fresh breeze filled with cherry blossoms and the appearance of someone special.

Mary Poppins was my first Broadway show. Even though my Connecticut home is a mere two hours from New York City, my parents were wary about venturing into NYC after 9/11. Hence, it took years of begging, plus the added security of a family friend who knows the city like the back of his hand, in order for a New York trip to actually happen.

As for my high school self, I didn’t care as much about the classic tourist destinations like the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building; I was a theater kid through and through. I wanted Broadway.

Mary Poppins blew me away, just like the ever-changing winds featured in the show itself. This musical made a lasting impression – Bert literally tap dances upside-down from the theatre’s ceiling at one point – which carried over into my college existence.

For my freshman year Honors English course, I selected a class that focused on writing about music. For my final paper at the end of that first UD semester, I wrote about the musical stylings of none other than the Sherman Brothers. Crash course on the Sherman Brothers: they wrote “It’s a Small World,” and composed the music for The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, and, of course, Mary Poppins.

That paper was one of my first “college moments.” I stayed up to all hours penning it, and the process is a blur of Mary Poppins music on YouTube, coffee, 3 a.m. jumping jacks…and more coffee.

kangaroo

Me and some lovely kangaroos versus the characters of Saving Mr. Banks.

Me and some lovely kangaroos versus the characters of Saving Mr. Banks.

Fast-forward to this semester, my last one. When I was home (for either Easter or Spring Break, I can’t remember which), I watched Saving Mr. Banks with my mom. Neither of us expected to love the story of P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins, and her creative clash with Walt Disney as much as we did. Half of the story is told through flashbacks of the author’s childhood, which takes place in the dry, sprawling Australian Outback. Not only were these scenes of her rough upbringing both fascinating and unsettling – in the same way that one can hardly look away from a train wreck – but it also brought me back to Australia. Ever since returning from my study abroad trip in the Land Down Unda, I’ve longed to go back.

As someone who dreams of being a writer, I sympathized with P.L. Travers and her fight to keep her source material pure – and free from Disney’s corporate influence. But the movie, loosely based on the real-life conflict between Travers and Disney, highlights reconciliation, a give-and-take.

For me, reconciliation is everywhere in my life at the present moment. The past and the future, my dreams and reality: all of it is currently in the process of being reconciled in my mind.

Mary Poppins selfie, anyone? Finally, one last connection: I was able to dress up as Mary herself with my theatre group recently. *Squeal of happiness* (Not too shabby, right?) Also, please note the practically perfect Australian flag postcard behind me.

Mary Poppins selfie, anyone? Finally, one last connection: I was able to dress up as Mary herself with my theatre group recently. *Squeal of happiness* (Not too shabby, right?) Also, please note the practically perfect Australian flag postcard behind me.

In Mary Poppins, Bert sings the following lines during one poignant interaction with the character Mr. Banks (based on the actual, struggling father of P.L. Travers): “You’ve got to grind, grind, grind at that grindstone… Though childhood slips like sand through a sieve… And all too soon they’ve up and grown, and then they’ve flown…”

supercalWell, this is goodbye. And I have to say it: it’s been a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious year.

This Is the Nostalgic Graduation Post That I Eventually Had to Write

Welcome folks, and now, it’s time for a word from our sponsors! The following post was reluctantly brought to you by two new benefactors: Graduation Anxiety and Fear for the Future!

I love going home. Which is strange, one might point out, considering that fact that I chose a university 5-6 hours from my family (depending on traffic). Part of the reason that I wanted to go to UD, however, is because I thought it was the perfect distance away: not too far, but not too close. In storybook fashion – “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” I’m looking at you right now – it seemed “just right.”

In case of an emergency (which did happen, thanks to the whole having-a-severe-allergy shtick), my mom could rush down to Delaware, using the breakdown lane to prove that she’s really a speed demon at heart.

My obsession for this little ball of fluff knows no bounds.

My obsession for this little ball of fluff knows no bounds.

On the flip side, being the homesick person I sometimes can be, which hinges a lot on how much I miss my puppy, being 5-6 hours away is a good thing.

This way, I’m not tempted to jump in my car and jet home just to eat my dad’s mouthwatering homemade pizza for dinner.

Side note: my dad moonlighted as a chef back in the day. His other careers include: psychiatric technician, carpenter, pilot (Air Force), author (of a book on how to achieve the perfect golf swing…no comment), and PGA golf professional, which is his current job.

Did I mention that my dad is awesome?

Driving through Connecticut always looks like this. Note: this picture was taken in a vehicle travelling at a whopping zero miles per hour.

Driving through Connecticut always looks like this. Note: this picture was taken in a vehicle travelling at a whopping zero miles per hour.

Anyway, for this particular journey home, I was riding solo; sometimes, I drive back with my literal next-door neighbor from Old Saybrook, CT, who – funnily enough – also selected UD. The drive home was like most others: a fairly boring, traffic-filled, singing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs type of trip. Since I left right after a particularly eventful Friday academic-wise, I had several caffeinated beverages and occasionally had to slap myself to stay awake. (Clearly, this blog post was also brought to you by: Safe Driving Habits.)

Once home, preparations turned toward Easter. I was excited to finally get together with some of my cousins/extended family, watch movies, and eat my dad’s premium cooking.

The gang’s (mostly) all here – from my mom’s side of the family, anyway! I’m the one in the purple sweater, holding our perfectly handcrafted cream cheese pie. Megan, the college-bound child, is to my left with the curly hair.

The gang’s (mostly) all here – from my mom’s side of the family, anyway! I’m the one in the purple sweater, holding our perfectly handcrafted cream cheese pie. Megan, the college-bound child, is to my left with the curly hair.

Here’s the thing, though: one of my cousins, Megan, is exactly four years younger than me. In other words, she’s about to start her whole college adventure just as mine is grinding to an abrupt halt. A large portion of Easter Sunday was spent talking about her three different college options around the dinner table (a.k.a. “Princess Table,” a name from my childhood referring to the makeup of mostly girl cousins), advice on how to choose a school, and what college itself is actually like.

Not helping matters was the movie that we picked to watch together: Monsters University. If you haven’t seen the movie, or can’t guess from the title, this movie is about college. (I can hear the chorus of resounding “duh” noises.) I may or may not have cried at the end of this particular showing, because of that whole weighty college aspect.

Also exacerbating the issue – re: me not wanting to partake in the G-word, as my roommate has taken to calling that mysterious event that happens in May – was my older cousin, Shannon. As Megan talked about choosing a college, Shannon, who graduated last year, kept saying things like, “Stop, I wish I was back!” Shannon has a job, working as a preschool teacher. I, on the other hand, am still figuring out my post-graduation path.

I’m not going to sugar-coat the end of this post, with a clichéd final sentence like, “I just know I’ll figure it out soon and love my job and have a seamless transition into adulthood!” I’m still pretty unsure about everything. I do know, however, that I have a great family to fall back on if need be. And, I’m starting to warm up to the idea of a new chapter, not even just because it’s inevitable.

Time to focus on that cream cheese pie from the above photo, decorated by all the cousins. In my opinion, we created a beautiful rendition of Mike Wazowski, with a scream canister in his left hand.

Time to focus on that cream cheese pie from the above photo, decorated by all the cousins. In my opinion, we created a beautiful rendition of Mike Wazowski, with a scream canister in his left hand.

Before watching Monsters University, I didn’t know how the story of Mike Wazowski, a student who desperately wants to be a “scarer,” was going to pan out in time for Monsters, Inc.

Spoiler alert: Mike doesn’t achieve his dreams in the traditional sense…but, he does find out what he’s capable of accomplishing. College is similar: your dreams may change (mine did), but oftentimes, you find out what you can actually do…and what you can survive. Like graduation itself, for instance.

As Sully says to Mike toward the end of the movie, “You’re not scary, not even a little bit. But you are fearless.”

~ Caitlyn Goodhue

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