Creating memorable experiences and relationships

Thanks a lot, St. Ambrose.  You have been average. I could write about how this has been an awesome experience and how I’ll never forget all the great times I’ve had. The truth is, I’ve had some good times and made some good friends.  But my college experience has been average.  No better, no less.

I’ve heard people say that college is the best four years of their life. Obviously it’s too soon for me to tell, but I hope my life didn’t peak that early.  If college is the best four years of my life, then what do I have to look forward to? Before looking forward, let’s take a look backward.

I transferred to SAU as a sophomore after spending a year at the University of Dubuque. I didn’t know anyone and had nothing to look forward to but an empty single room in Davis Hall.  I was unsure about my schedule and had no idea how I ended up in a Human Genetics class. Didn’t I declare Public Relations major?

Small schools like SAU always brag about class sizes, professor to student ratios and things like that. I can say that I’ve had professors that created memorable experiences based on meaningful relationships. I’ve also sat in a class of 20 students where the professor never learned my name. That’s the Ambrose Advantage. But don’t feel sorry for me, SAU has provided me with some useful skills too.

I’ve taken some amazing classes in my three years here.  The beauty of the liberal arts education is that I’m able to graduate in four years with a degree from the college of business, but I’ve also learned a little bit about a lot of things.  I spent semesters studying Heidegger and Nietzsche. I learned that Johann Gutenberg didn’t invent the printing press (he invented movable type!) I wrote and created my own radio and TV commercials. I learned about peaceful and non-violent resolutions to world problems.  Sure, I learned a lot of dry mass communication theories too, no offense Dr. Preston. But a liberal arts education will also leave me unemployed or underemployed for a while. I guess the world needs baristas too.

There’s nothing wrong with being average. In fact, most of the population of this world is average.  I feel as if I’ve done everything the average college student should do. I wear sweatpants to class most of the time. I eat mac and cheese and drink cheap beer. I do crazy shenanigans with my teammates and I occasionally sleep until noon and skip class.  My college experience has been everything I hoped it would be.

I can’t say that this has been the best four years of my life, but it has been fun. I have fond memories of my time spent at St. Ambrose University and don’t expect that to change in the last 3 weeks of school. Yes, the cafeteria will still have bad food after I’ve gone. And the alleys will probably still have potholes, but my experience here was perfectly adequate.

I will walk across the stage on May 14, and accept a piece of paper that cost my parents thousands of dollars. And like the average recent college grad, I will graduate with no job waiting for me. My hope is to find a job in the Midwest that will challenge me and hopefully not bore me to death. I’d love to find a job in marketing public relations, or the ever-expanding world of print journalism.

If nothing else, “there’s always money in the banana stand.”

Rachel Sarafin
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