As the semester comes to an end (and it is coming to an end SO quickly it seems, with only two weeks left in the semester), I am of course getting more and more anxious about graduation. I was walking across campus last week, and I began to feel nostalgic, as I was realizing that these next few weeks will mark the last times I will walk on Walsh campus as a student, rather than the alumnus that I will soon be.
In my contemplations of campus, and of my four years at Walsh, I began to think of all the things that I will miss the most about Walsh. There are about one hundred little things I could think of, but I have tried to narrow it down to the top ten. So, here you go, with as much bittersweet excitement as sadness in my heart, the top ten things that I will miss the most about Walsh University.
10. Volunteering and making a difference as often as possible.Though it is always possible to volunteer and get involved, Walsh has truly made volunteering not only easy, but fun too! There was always an opportunity to give back, whether it was through the MLK day of service, through Habitat for Humanity, through service learning courses, through Project Homeless, or through volunteering at local nursing homes, the spirit of volunteering and giving of oneself in service to others is always alive at Walsh. It is such a joy to look back, knowing that I have been able to make a difference, in big and small ways both locally and globally, thanks to the encouragement of those at Walsh, and thanks to the many opportunities that I was always given to uphold the mission and purpose of our fine university.
9. Hiding away in the library to prepare for big exams and presentations. Even though certain times of the year felt so stressful, especially when there were countless projects, papers, assignments, and reading to be done, there was always a place that I felt comfortable and even dare I say confident, that I would complete all of my work on time and do it to the best of my abilities. The library was truly my safe-haven, and I would regularly find myself lost in the hidden spaces of the library, doing some of my best thinking, and being more productive than I could be anywhere else. I have many fond memories of my “hiding places” in the library, and I know that I did some of my best work because of it’s solitude, it’s quiet, and it’s comfortable atmosphere. I am going to miss having the chance to be a bookworm as often as I want, I could not have gotten through college without my little getaway at the Walsh Library, that’s for sure.
8. Late night breakfast during finals week(s). A favorite to all Walsh students, and something that makes our university unique is the way that our students are supported during finals week each and every semester. The university funds a “late night breakfast” each finals week, taking place around 10:00pm in the middle of finals week. During this time, the professors stay late to help serve the meal, and they do their best to make sure that students take a much needed break from studying and have some food to nourish them to continue fighting their way through finals week, and to appreciate the successes that will come with the conclusion of finals. It is such a wonderful tradition, and something I always look forward to. I will miss this type of support and kindness shown by the faculty for each and every student on campus.
7. Attending all sporting events, UPB events, and awareness activities. You would never know that Walsh was a smaller, private school, for how much there is to do on campus ALL THE TIME! Thanks to the sports teams, UPB, and a variety of other organizations on campus, the activities are endless and always entertaining. The basketball, baseball, soccer, and football games were always a fun time, as we had students paint their faces (and their bodies), bring larger than life cut outs of the players, and of course cheer as loudly as possible for our Cavs (most especially when we were beating Malone!). In addition, every Spring Formal Dance, concert, Improv show, Game Room Challenge, and Saturday Night’s Live event was fun and unique and gave me as well as all other students the chance to interact with one another and just have a wonderful time at school! I will miss these many opportunities and all of the good times that were had over the last four years, and I thank everyone involved in the planning of these events for making my time so great.
6. The kind people that work in all departments on campus. No matter where you are on campus, Campus Ministry, Financial Aide, the cafeteria, the Intermural Sports Office, the Cavalier Café, and yes even the President’s office, every single person was kind, inviting, helpful, and truly upheld the Walsh University Mission in everything they did throughout their job and in completing their responsibilities. I have always felt welcomed, and I appreciate every single person who has helped me, served me, worked with me, and assisted me in my time at Walsh, I will miss each and every person.
5. Seeing the Brothers of Christian Instruction as shining examples of how to live a good life. Hearing the story of Walsh from its beginning is always entertaining and impactful, but having the opportunity to see some of the brothers on our campus each and every day, helps the story truly come to life before our eyes. The two brothers that still live on campus are wonderful examples of everything our university stands for, and I am so blessed to have had the chance to meet them, know them, and learn from them. I will be forever grateful for all of the things they have helped me to achieve, and I will never forget them.
4. Going to mass every Sunday with my closest friends. I have grown more than I could explain in my faith life and spiritual wellness during my time at Walsh. The individuals that we meet on campus help to make your spiritual growth and development a top priority alongside your academic development while at Walsh University. Most especially Fr. Anselm, our University Chaplain, has helped to make church wonderful, exciting, and truly something to look forward to. He has taught me and all other students on campus so much, and he, along with all of the campus ministry staff, will be greatly missed.
3. The beautiful walk across campus no matter what the season. Walsh may be a small campus (which is especially convenient when you are running late for class and can get to any point on campus in less than ten minutes), but it is one of the most beautiful places on Earth to me. In the fall it is adorned with beautiful trees with leaves every color of fall, in the winter, the campus truly becomes a wonderland of snow, and in the spring, the green grass and the red and yellow tulips make the campus more picturesque than ever before! There is not a day that goes by that I am not in awe of my little campus, and I hope to continue to take as many mental pictures as possible so that I never lose the vision of beauty that campus is and always has been for me. I will truly miss seeing it every day as I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night.
2. Saying hello to everyone as you walk to and from class, and the smiles on everyone’s faces Walsh is one of the most friendly places in the world if you ask me, and I will always miss walking across campus and seeing the friendly faces of my friends, my peers, and my professors as I walk from place to place. I have always felt like I belong here, and having the friendly atmosphere between all people on campus has been so wonderful to me. Even professors and people that I have met once or twice will give you a smile and say hello, truly taking the time to ask how you are doing, and how your day has been. It is that human connection that makes Walsh so special, and it is this genuine caring that I will miss the most about leaving.
1. Walsh as my home away from home. I know I have said it time and time again, but Walsh University has truly become my second home. I remember the first time I called my parents after moving into campus and telling them that I was “headed home”. My mom was surprised and said “Oh! I didn’t know you were coming back to Rootstown today!” and I was quiet before I responded “No mom, I mean I am going to Walsh!” From that day forward, I have continued to call Walsh my home. I have always felt like more than a student, more than a number, I have been and will always be a part of the Walsh family. I am grateful for everyone I have met, every experience I have had, and all of the ways I have grown thanks to this truly amazing place. I am so excited to graduate, but not ready to leave!
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop” -Mother Teresa