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Sunday, June 23, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Spectrum recommends: lessons learned

Spectrum seniors offer wise words on growing up

Toronto looms large over a body of water. Students should go to Canada with “literal strangers,” writes Reilly Mullen.
Toronto looms large over a body of water. Students should go to Canada with “literal strangers,” writes Reilly Mullen.

With graduation just around the corner, college seniors across the country will be leaving their campuses and heading into the “real world.” Here at The Spectrum, we are saying goodbye to 12 editors as they head off on their various journeys, whether that be continuing their education or starting their careers. 

Growing up can be scary. That’s why The Spectrum’s graduating class has compiled a list of the most important lessons they learned during their time at UB:

Move out

Don’t stay close to home if you can help it. The newness, excitement and scariness of graduating is all incredibly overwhelming, but (surprisingly) adding a big move to that isn’t going to make it any worse. You aren’t leaving things behind to never return, or cutting ties with everyone you’ve ever known and loved. You’re growing. I can’t think of anything much worse than staying my 21-year-old self forever, and you shouldn’t stay stuck as whoever you are right now either. Change is good and you should embrace it with open arms while you can. Sure it’ll bring tough times — homesickness, uncertainty, loneliness — but what’s the fun in playing it safe? Go for a different city, region or state. And for the more ambitious out there, shoot for a different country, or even continent, if you feel like you can. The world’s your oyster, so go out and see it.

  • Sophie McNally

Live in the moment

Looking back at the last four years, it all seems like a blur. During the semester, all we can do as students is make sure we’re getting our assignments done, getting to class (mostly) and showing up for our exams. But between our academics are the friendships and experiences that make college worthwhile. Even though the semester can sometimes feel like it’s flying by at supersonic speed, remember to take a deep breath and look around. Try to take a break from studying and assignments to live in the moment — have an impromptu dance party or joke around with friends. Take lots of pictures and go on walks by yourself. These four years are the first chance most of us have to build our own way forward. Cherish it.

  • Julie Frey

Get involved

While attending a school as large as UB can sometimes seem overwhelming and scary, it also means there’s a seemingly endless number of extracurricular options available to students. Joining a club or organization on or off campus is a great way to make new friends with common interests and help find your place at such a large university. It can be difficult to put yourself out there, but I promise the reward is worth the initial discomfort. Finding an organization you love being a part of and having a place to go to relax and have conversations with people who share your passions are essential parts of relieving the many stressors that college life brings. You will strengthen your mental health, create unforgettable college memories and make lasting friendships. From music to sports to arts, there is a club for everyone at UB, so put yourself out there and join one! You’ll meet some amazing people, and it will make your college experience that much more enjoyable.

  • Andrew Lauricella

Say ‘yes’ as much as you can

Before coming to UB, I expected to have the traditional college experience: go to a few parties, have late-night study sessions with friends, etc. But after a series of questionable agreements, I soon found myself building core memories including (but not limited to): going to Canada with literal strangers, modeling for The BFLO Store and booking a cruise to the Bahamas with my roommates. During college, opportunities feel unattainable. But sometimes, the only thing stopping you from creating lasting memories is saying “yes.” Don’t let the fear of falling stop you from embracing the chance to explore the world while you’re young. 

  • Reilly Mullen

Embrace the Queen City

You’re here for four years, so why spend it holed up in your dorm room or submerged in a sweaty frat basement? Embrace the Queen City and everything it has to offer. Go hiking in Letchworth State Park — the “Grand Canyon of the East” — and Zoar Valley. Take advantage of free ice skating at Fountain Plaza. Cheer on the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Beauts and Bisons. Explore the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Museum of Science and Buffalo Naval Park. Walk around Canalside. Climb to the observation deck in Buffalo City Hall. Marvel at the wildlife at the Buffalo Zoo and Aquarium of Niagara. Venture out to the Erie Basin Marina and Delaware Park. The point is simple: there’s plenty of things to do in the Queen City. So get going.

  • Justin Weiss

Take advantage of UB’s resources

UB has lots of fun activities for students to partake in, but it also has many things designed to improve our well-being. Whether it be the school’s gym, yoga classes or most importantly, free therapy sessions, UB has a large variety of places for students to improve themselves, be it their mind or body! These sometimes come in creative and delightful forms, such as dog therapy. But the school also continues to offer different forms of self-improvement and free resources/clubs for learning things like cooking or meditating. There’s no telling what else the university will add in the future!

  • Alex Falter

Find your niche on campus

Coming from a large high school? No problem. You can still make your mark on campus. I spent much of my freshman year in my dorm room, and I regretted it. I always thought friends would find their way to me, but they didn’t. But that’s the thing: UB has endless opportunities for student involvement, spanning everything from major-related organizations to casual clubs. And if UB doesn’t have a club, you can start it. Getting involved will leave you with lifelong friendships and allow you to make your mark on campus.

  • Dan Eastman


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