BY MEREDITH WATHNE
As I reflect back on my time at MSUM, nostalgia kicks in.
It seems like just yesterday I was a dewy-eyed freshman moving into Dahl. I came to college with the same optimism many bring, excited to embark on life’s new challenges and of course, to live independently.
But after spending five years at this institution (yes I’m a super senior), I leave wishing someone would have told me how wonderful MSUM really is and all the opportunities it holds. I would have taken advantage of them sooner.
If you ask any of my friends, they’ll all tell you the same thing; I was very involved on campus, but I wasn’t always this way. To be honest, I almost transferred to St. Cloud State after my freshman year because I lacked the connection to my university that so many people say makes your college career.
In reality, it was my own fault. So many opportunities were laid out in front of me, and I passed them up because “it wasn’t cool,” or there was a killer party happening that night.
It wasn’t until I joined my first student organization, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) that I knew this was the place for me.
Despite those late nights and parties being some of the best nights of my life, it’s my student organization involvement and taking in all that MSUM has to give that really made my time here so special.
I’ve worked in sports information at Dragon Athletics, managed social media accounts for the MSUM marketing department, served as a chapter officer in the Society of Professional Journalists, was the president of MSUM’s PRSSA chapter for two years and worked at The Advocate as assistant editor and now editor.
If you’re thinking my life revolved around campus and I spent a majority of my time here, you’re right. But I didn’t mind. In fact, the more involved and invested I got, the more I loved being on campus.
That’s not to say I didn’t have days where I wanted to do nothing more than lay on my couch, but after awhile, school and all my cocurriculars no longer felt like work. They were fun.
Yes, your classes are important and teach you vital information necessary for your profession. But it’s applying what I’ve learned in the classroom to my roles in cocurriculars like PRSSA and The Advocate that I really got a taste of the real world.
They’ve allowed me to hone my skill set through experiences you rarely get anywhere else. I wouldn’t be where I am today, and have the internship lined up after graduation that I do, without MSUM and the people here.
In conclusion, you truly do get what you put in. MSUM is a wonderful place full of magnificent people that want nothing more than to help you succeed in life and leave as prepared as you can.
Cherish it. Be as involved as you can. Take advantage of all that this place has to offer, and I promise you’ll leave just as in love with it as I am.
When I walk across that stage in Nemzek next week to receive my diploma, I’ll be sad my time at MSUM is done, but there’s one thing I’ll never forget — once a Dragon, always a Dragon.
I know the words “thank you” will never amount to what I owe this university and the people who helped me along the way, but thank you, MSUM. Thank you for helping me grow as a person, giving me the knowledge I need to enter the real world and providing me with best days of my life.