Opinion: Four years down, one week to go

Leighann McGivern

It didn’t really hit me that I would be graduating until Tuesday of this week. Sure, I’d registered for graduation at the beginning of the fall semester, scheduled for the final time and even picked up my cap and gown from the bookstore. But it finally started to sink in when I was sitting in the newsroom at the end of one of my last nights of production, and one of my editors announced, “I’m calling the printer for the last time!”A strange wave of nostalgia washed over me as I realized this is the last week I’ll spend in the Daily Kent Stater newsroom, the place I’ve dedicated more time than in actual classrooms during my four years at Kent. I’ve made some of my best friends here, I’ve laughed here, I’ve stayed up until 5 a.m. here and I’ve even made a fool out of myself dancing to Beyoncé here. This newsroom has defined my college experience, and letting go of that will be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.Frankly, I have no clue where I’m going from here, and for the first time in my always-planned, almost too carefully thought out life, I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow (figuratively speaking, that is — tomorrow I have class at 8 a.m.). But I guess there’s something both scary and exciting about taking a big leap into the unknown.Before I join the throngs of other graduating seniors all vying for too few job openings, I’ve started to think about all the things I want to do before I graduate. I’m quickly realizing there’s not enough time (or money in my bank account) for me to do all I want to do — a bucket list that includes going to every store and restaurant downtown, eating more Hungry Howie’s pizza than I should ever consume and capturing a black squirrel to take home to Pittsburgh (only joking of course…).But instead of trying to do all of those things that I know I’ll probably never get to, I’m going to spend my last week of college with the people I love before I have to leave them. I’ll have plenty of time to come back to Kent and have an Incredible Hulk at The Loft or take a walk on the new University Esplanade expansion. It’s the memories I’ve made at Kent State, and specifically in the newsroom, that I’ll never get to have again.To those of you who still have a few years left at Kent, I encourage you to find something you love and put all of yourself into it. I promise you won’t regret it. Thanks for an awesome four years, Kent State. It’s been unforgettable.Leighann McGivern is a senior magazine journalism major and the editor of the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected] .