‘Free’ doesn’t always come with a catch

Now that I’m a senior, I not only get to do whatever I want and excuse any procrastination as senioritis, but I also get to dole out any unprecedented advice that I wish to upon those younger than me.

Okay, so none of those things are necessarily true. However, I am going to use a bit of wisdom that I have gained throughout my four years here, and even a bit before. It’s something I guarantee that students have all heard before, but I want to go into a little bit more detail as to why it’s so true. What I’m talking about is taking advantage of the programs, speakers and other opportunities that Loras offers to students, many times for free, and many times right here on campus.
There have been so many times that I’ve seen something that’s looked interesting sent to me through e-mail or something that I’ve heard a professor talking about and I think about going, but for some reason I don’t end. I get lazy and don’t feel like leaving my house, I decide I have too much homework, I do something with friends, or I come up with something other excuse to bypass it. Then I end up hearing about it from people that went days later and hear about how good it was, and I really regret not going and missing out on the opportunity. I can’t even count how many times that I’ve done this, so this is me advising others that you should not be like me.

Whenever I’ve attended something that Loras has sponsored, whether it be a speaker on immigration, a free trip to Six Flags, the Legacy Symposium presentations, an English Careers Dinner, etc., I’ve never been disappointed. For the most part in fact they have all been excellent, and either I had fun, learned something, or sometimes both, as corny as that sounds. Besides programs, even just services that Loras provides are so helpful but taken advantage of so little by students. The Writing Center, the librarians, the CEL office, etc. are so incredibly helpful to students but many don’t know all what they have to offer, or don’t take advantage of them and bypass them, when in fact they can do so much good for students. No matter what age students are, it’s not too late to make use of these things and the programs they offer. CEL offers some great ways to branch out in the community and make connections with employers and alumni. The Writing Center edits papers but also provides valuable lifelong lessons on how to become a better writer, and therefore on how to become more employable in the future. Because as much fun being a college student is, becoming a better future employee and a valuable asset to the workforce is one of the major reasons that we are here. Learning how to become a better writer will make you a better employee no matter your discipline, and attending writing workshops or visiting the Writing Center will be beneficial to anyone.

Sure, your friends will not always want to go with you. And as scary as it can be to leave your roommate’s side for five minutes, once you do it’s well worth it and a great opportunity to meet new people at an event that may be a common interest between you. Branching out isn’t always comfortable, but it can provide a great way to get to know more of the Loras community and explore your interests. You’ll gain invaluable information about both yourself and whatever subject you’re learning about.

Attending Loras’ programs are well worth your time. Don’t just wait until your senior year to start going to sporting events, attending alumni events, contacting CEL for help finding internships, etc. The sooner you do these things, the more advantages you will gain from the countless connections that Loras has and take even more away from your four short years at Loras.

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