Senior Column: Did you learn anything new at school today?



Stefanie Romba

Stefanie Romba

Stefanie Romba is a senior information design major and design director for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Daily, my mom would ask me that question after school. Daily, I would respond, “no.” Well, Kent State, you took a lot of money that I never had, but I won’t complain. The lesson plan I followed took me through more than academia. Maybe I could have learned about microeconomics from anyone, but all of the extra stuff I’m taking with me is unique to my time here at Kent State.

Watch your step.

It only took a couple weeks at Kent State for me to find out the red brick on the Esplanade is not walker-friendly in the rain. I was wearing flip-flops and dangerously close to being late to class for the first time since coming to college. My foot hit the red brick, immediately followed by my ass. There’s a good chance you’ve experienced this. There’s a better chance you’ve seen it happen to someone else. I stood up, and I quickly looked to make sure no one noticed. Of course they did. Anytime you look like an idiot, someone will see you. I make peace with this fact by knowing that my onlookers got a chuckle out of my blunder, and maybe it made their rainy day a tiny bit brighter.

A circle is round. It has no end. That’s how long we’ll be transient friends.

OK. The first part I learned from Girl Scouts, but the second half was a recent lesson. Making new friends in college wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I think Kent State did a good job of putting me around people who were similar to me. After sophomore year, everyone moves off campus. Those friendships you made with the guys next door fade, and those girls you met in First Year Colloquium change their majors. We have friends for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Once I understood the differences, it got easier to let go of those reason and season relationships and to steadfastly hold to my life-timers.

Maps lead to predictability.

I took a campus map to my first frat party. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it back to First Year Experience unassisted, and I was right. I’ll never forget the way my new roommate looked at me under that streetlight as I tried to figure out where we were going and the best way to get there. I carried that map with me for two weeks trying to find the best routes to class. After my first year, it became clear that the map was more hindering than helpful. I had been missing out on so much of the campus by sticking to the sidewalks. I thought I had found the best routes to the academic buildings, but the shortcuts through fields ended up being faster and more entertaining. It’s important to know when you need the map to lead you home and when to put it away to find something new.