Over the past four years, I think I’ve experienced a lot, for lack of a better phrase. I’ve made new friends, lost old ones and watched people come in and out of my life. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned at Rider, it’s to not take life too seriously. Have fun while you can, enjoy a drink (only when you’re legal, of course) every now and then and concentrate on your studies when need be. I’m not going to sit here and pretend college is like one big party; it’s not. But, I am going to advocate an exciting, enthralling discovery process where you learn how to break out of your shell and become somebody completely new, or an updated, mature version of yourself.
Although I may not be alone, I came to Rider for all of the wrong reasons. Yes, this is a fantastic school with incredible professors and gorgeous scenery, but the real reason I came to Rider was to “live my dream” with an ex-boyfriend of mine — keyword: ex. However, at the end of September during my freshman year, my world crumbled at my feet and my entire “dream” deteriorated right in front of me. But, the people I met at Rider and the activities I engulfed myself in helped me recover and become the person I am today.
From the varieties of people that come to Rider to the plethora of activities this school offers, I didn’t really have time to break down and regret my decision; rather I took full advantage of the situations that were thrown my way. And man, did I take advantage. Freshman year is always your year of discovery, where some people go crazy because of the amount of freedom they’re given while others embrace their freedom in a different way, like I did. Although I may not have known how to balance my studies and social life during freshman year, eventually I figured it out. I understood that if I decided to go out one night when a paper was due the next morning, I’d pay for it, but that helped me grow as a student and person.
Throughout my time “growing,” I’ve mastered the art of multi-tasking and juggling an assortment of activities at one time without going insane, while learning about various topics. I’ve also acquired a variety of skills that will be overly useful in my career choice, while building unbreakable bonds with professors and people who I will never forget (Rider News family, what what!).
As if that isn’t enough, I’ve gained a newfound respect for students. We are miracle workers, strong-minded learners and party animals, all in one body. We have the ability to do things that others don’t, and although we may not appreciate it at the moment, one day we will. The way we are able to get so much done in such a short amount of time is truly a talent, for which we should applaud ourselves.
No matter how diverse we all may be and how differently college will impact us, there’s one thing that we all have in common. That is that we’re determined, hard workers who will walk out of here with a degree and a sense of accomplishment.
– Heather Fiore
Outgoing Features & Entertainment Editor