Not a Goodbye, but See You Later


Oscar Kelley

Looking back at the last four years of my life here at Rockhurst, there have been ups and downs. As I head toward graduation in the coming weeks, though the memories that I will take with me will stay with me for many years to come.

College has been a unique time in my life where I had no clue what was going to happen next. Being from Olathe and living with my parents my whole life, I had been yearning for some independence. My parents had strict rules throughout my high school days, so the day I moved into Corcoran Hall I knew my life had changed instantly. No longer did I have to consult with my parents about decisions I wanted to make or had already made. This was a whole new chapter in my life that I wanted to soak up, so freshman and sophomore years I spent more nights in St. Louis than I did visiting my family only 40 minutes from our campus. I felt like nobody could stop me from doing what I wanted.

Every day I was being pushed outside of my comfort zone. I have always been the type to not ask for help and wanted to figure out the solutions to my problems on my own. If I wanted to do something fun with my friends, for instance, I knew I had to work to be able to pay for the exciting activities. Some of my friends that I had met through Rockhurst had been working as a valet on the Country Club Plaza near campus, so I followed in their footsteps and have been working with them the last few years.

Deciding to work as a valet has been the greatest decision that I had made in college in terms that I was making good enough money to have the time of my life with friends. Whether it was going to karaoke on Thursday nights at Karaoke night at Tanner or taking road trips to Nebraska to go to a country concert. I am very grateful to Rockhurst for bringing me new friends that I will talk to the rest of my time on this Earth.

Even though becoming a valet was considered my best move in college, I also see it as my biggest regret. How can I see it as both?

Well I had to work nights, so I could not hang with friends as much as I wish I could. Everybody had classes during the day and would usually be free during the evening. I became a workaholic, so I lost the balance between work and having a social life. I became non-existent within the fraternity I had joined. I was literally only involved in my fraternity and intramurals, so when I was no longer showing up for those I had virtually no presence on campus. Not to mention the last year and a half with this pandemic that has been plaguing our country.

The combination of work and classes moving online left me going months without being on campus. Whenever I ran into fellow classmates, they would be surprised to see me since they thought I transferred. I used to sit in the Rockroom just so I could be social and see people throughout the day. I feel like my junior and senior years had been taken away from me. No longer could I sit in the Rockroom with a group of friends surrounding me.

Reflecting back, I wished I had joined more organizations, so that I would have a reason to go to campus more often. I moved off campus for my last two years at Rockhurst. Even though that may sound like the greatest decision, there are a few negative consequences. The memories that I miss the most is are being able to walk across the hall and knocking on friends’ doors to see if they wanted to hang out. My most important memories the last four years come from the dorms. Take it from me: Don’t take for granted having all of your friends in one place at the same time.

My advice to the underclassmen would be that you should join every club and organization that interests you on campus. I hope you can learn from my mistakes, so that you can live the college life up however you would like. Don’t always follow the money, but do follow the adventures.

I’ll leave you with this anonymous quote that I live by:  “The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you’ve had.”

Go get that milkshake from Winstead’s at two in the morning. Go sing your lungs out at karaoke. Do the thing that makes you happy. Be yourself and do not always follow social norms. Once you drown out the noise about what everyone else thinks about you, life will change for the better.


Rockhurst, this is not a goodbye, but see you later.




Edited by Micaela Gutierrez