Here’s to the best four (or five) years of your life

Jenna Staul

When I was a freshman, I wrote my first article for the Daily Kent Stater. It was a Sunday in January, just before the first day of the spring semester. My mother and boyfriend at the time had just unpacked me into my Allyn Hall dorm room. It smelled like Windex and alcohol wipes.

The story was supposed to be about roommates and friendships after winter break. Heavy stuff. The article had to be good — surely, my career in journalism hinged on it. I spent all day in front of my laptop writing in a haze of anxiety and frayed nerves and messy hand-written notes.

I read the story again today and it basically sucked.

A few years can make a big difference. As I’m on my way out of Kent, you are on your way in. On behalf of the Stater, I’d like to welcome you to the university and wish you good luck along your way — this is a great place. Your time at Kent State probably won’t be what you expect, whatever that may be.

In the Stater, we have a recurring section named “Cheers and Jeers,” which is pretty self-explanatory. I’m graduating from college on time, with a job waiting for me, and no student loans. I’m also the editor of this newspaper. Therefore, I am told that I’m somewhat qualified to dole out advice. I don’t know if that’s true, but here goes:



Jeers to how fast college goes by. I have no idea if these next four (or five or six or seven) years will be the best of your life, but they will probably be the fastest. Everyone is probably telling you this right now and it’s entirely true — this time will fly by. I’d tell you to enjoy all the little moments along the way, but no one can really appreciate anything until it’s over, right?

Jeers to long-distance relationships while in college. They don’t work.

Jeers to being lazy. I get it. You’re away from mommy and daddy’s watchful eye for the first time. How liberating! How mature of you! But really, don’t be an ass. Make an attempt to go to class on a semi-regular basis. Try to have some kind of plausible goals for yourself and actually work toward them. After all, you’ll probably be an indentured servant to your student loan creditors for the next few decades. You may as well learn something.

Jeers to the bureaucratic mess that is Kent State University. When I have to call the Bursar’s Office, I get chest palpitations. I can’t stand it. Some of my most painful memories of these last four years revolve around the departments located in the Michael Schwartz Building. And for all of those inefficiencies, the most competent and effective department on campus is probably Parking Services. Mark my words: They will always ticket you.

And finally, Jeers to the shakedown scheme that college sometimes feels like. From the aforementioned parking tickets, to the cost of books, to perpetually rising tuition, all I can say is hang in there.


Cheers to making a few rash, impulsive and otherwise unreasonable decisions as a college student. Some of them will be made while you are, perhaps, in a state of inebriation. And (believe me) that’s okay. But others will be a decidedly more sober act of following your gut. Either way, try not to regret them — they always have the potential to be some of the best decisions you make.

Cheers to downtown Kent — its bars, its shops, its quirky charm. Do yourself a favor and take a walk around town. You’d be amazed what you can find in between Wal-Mart and Target.

Cheers to taking an interest in this university. Do you know who Robert Frank is? How about Patrick Mullen? Do you know what President Lester Lefton’s salary is? Or how much money is allocated to Undergraduate Student Government in its operating budget? Well, gang, you should. These are some of the people who are making big decisions about your education and the money funneled through this university.

Cheers to the amazing people you are about to meet while at Kent State. The friends you’ll have here will make everything worthwhile. But I’m sure you already knew that.

Cheers to coming to the realization that you really don’t have anything figured out. I wish I could offer more sage-like advice, hard earned over the last few years of my own mistakes and personal victories. But, yeah, I really don’t know anything. I thought I did as a freshman, but these four years have peeled away most of that false sense of security. And it’s all been for the better.

Jenna Staul is the editor of the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].