How to say goodbye – thoughts and advice from a graduating senior


Unsplash Photos by Leon Wu

Ysabella Ricardo Finch, Reporter

As a graduating senior, I have seen many things come and go from the small school that is Rockhurst University. Since I am an out-of-state student, I had to live on campus. I lived on campus all four years of college, and my experiences were vast and useful. If I could share a piece of knowledge with the younger classes or with people that wish to know what it’s like to stay at Rockhurst, then I would say work on yourself while also working on your classes. Do not let your personal needs be put aside while achieving your goals. Being in college can be a whirlwind of emotions, actions and beliefs. It’s supposed to be. College is made for pushing people past their limitations. No one said college was easy, and that is true. Rockhurst is a school where leaders learn, as the motto states. Students have to be proactive about their learning; otherwise, the tidal wave that is the years of homework, hard work and dedication to come can wash people away.

As an incoming freshman that stayed in McGee, I didn’t know how likely the school was to change in front of my eyes. One of the most valuable things I learned in my freshman year of college was learning how to be independent. Living in college is a different experience than living at home. No one tells you what to do. You have to motivate yourself into doing work. You have to be the master of your own life when you become a freshman in college. Being the master of your own life does not mean that you get to do whatever you want, go crazy and neglect your responsibilities like schoolwork, studying, physical health and mental health. If school work is neglected, then all of the perks of college will go away, as the school will kick you out for poor grades. But constantly working on homework or constantly studying does not promote good physical or mental health. College is finite, but it is also critical. There has to be a balance to everything. The process of balancing does not have to be perfect. Understanding how to balance things will come with experience and time.

After moving out of McGee, I moved to Xavier-Loyola or XL. This was the upperclassman dorm hall, and it showed. What I learned in my second year of college was that it is ok if you change your major. I changed my major after I realized that some teachers’ style of teaching isn’t how everyone learns. Even if the student puts their best effort into the class, if the teacher is not able to help, then that does not always mean that the student can power through the class. I was also studying a major that was not my passion. Once you’re able to work on what you are passionate about, you will put more time and effort into what you have to do. Schools teach you how to do the basics. The effort to learn and to study has to be done outside of the classroom and must be done by the student.

In my third year, things changed when the worldwide pandemic hit. Everyone’s lives turned upside down as COVID-19 caused fear and worry over the spread of the virus. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who learned this, but what I recognized most as my most valuable lesson in third year was to think critically about the people I was around. I had to learn to have higher expectations for what I wanted in life and how I needed to work for that every day. Even though the end goal may be a very daunting task to accomplish, if I worked slowly at it one bit at a time, I was able to complete my goal. Seeing that minor inconveniences were only minor and realizing the work that I had put in far outweighed the small problems I had made me feel, at the end of the day, that I had to strength to continue on.

As my fourth year comes to a close, I can say that I worked hard for everything I achieved in my academic career. There may have been trips and stumbles along the way, but realizing that keeping a level head was the most important trick to every encounter I came across was by best strategy. Emotions can cloud the brain from seeing the reason in things. Feeling emotions are vital to living, but always acting on them can be very detrimental to yourself and others. Learning to control oneself is a trait that not many possess. Most everyone can tell a story when self control saved them from a bad outcome. Being a senior in college is not about who has the most credits or who takes the hardest level classes or who pays the most for each of those classes. Being a senior, as the title states, is to possess a type of wisdom that others do not possess. Seniors on campus have seen the most and often times have experienced the most. As the final days come to an end and the days of finals for classes approaches, what you do with that experience is what makes you a wise individual.