A Final Goodbye

“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink till sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…” – Tom Petty

Ok, so perhaps this is a little misconstrued for the overall college experience, but the point Tom Petty was making is still true. College is the last chance you have to live your life the way you want and enjoy the superficial things in life before it is time to grow up and enter the real “world”.  While the whole academic educational experience has been invaluable and rewarding for my future the social aspect of college has been almost as educational in its own way. You learn self credibility and responsibility; like when you stay out all night and still drag yourself to your 9am class. Just kidding, but seriously college is an experience I wouldn’t change for anything and my time here at UNCW I’ll always remember.

Now that it is time to say farewell to UNCW, I would like to share some of the observations I have made about our teachers here at UNCW from my experience as a communication studies and Spanish major.

Communications Studies – After spending the past few years in this department I am convinced this major is the most underrated. This department offers so many different areas of studies that are all valuable and imperative in their own respect. Though some may think that Communication Studies is like “Business light”, it is only because they are ignorant to what Communication Studies is all about. I can say this because I had no idea what it was all about before becoming a Pre-Com and later a Com major. This department also offers some of the most intriguing and intelligent Professors I have had.  I would like to thank a few specific teachers for making my time at UNCW enjoyable and being truly great influences and teachers. A special thanks to the following: David Bollinger, Dr. Weber, Dr. Kelly Fellows, Kelly Dixon, Dr. Deborah Brunson, Dr Olsen, and Dr. Persuit for making my experience in the Communications department memorable and truly enjoyable.

Spanish – Though the Spanish Foreign Language department here at UNCW doesn’t exactly turn out a ton of majors, it has impacted me in a big way. For anyone considering this as a minor that is awesome, but don’t stop there; go for the major. It is truly an amazing department with the best teachers I’ve ever had. I can honestly say I have not had one teacher that wasn’t amazing. So, go for it. Take the few extra classes needed and Major in Spanish. I loved my Spanish classes and truly enjoyed coming to class and engaging with my teachers and the material. All of the teachers in this department truly care about their students. They want you to learn and they show enthusiasm and encouragement in their teacher styles. Learning a foreign language isn’t easy and they do the best they can to help you accomplish your goal; and it is a great feeling when you do. Like I said, I have loved all of my teachers in this department but a few have really made a difference in my education and I would like to thank them especially. Jess Boersma: for teaching me grammar very thoroughly whether I wanted to learn it or not and helping me enjoy and learn Spanish literature.  Amanda Boomershine: for being one of the nicest teachers I’ve ever met. Emmanuel Harris: the fact I took four of his classes should speak for itself. He is Awesome. He cares about his student not just in an academic setting but them as people. He is a great teacher and if you have the opportunity to take his class; do it. Joann Mount: Thank you for making my all of my classes from the 200’s through the 400’s a great experience and for being a great teacher. Thank you for always taking the time to help me when I needed it and going above and beyond with the extra advising help even though you weren’t my advisor. Thank you. And, Valerie Rider: I had for one class and never forgot it; by far one of the most entertaining and nicest teachers. THANK YOU to all of you, seriously, you made my experience unforgettable and I would encourage anyone to become a Spanish Major at UNCW.

Lauren Smith

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9 thoughts on “A Final Goodbye

  1. This is such a great farewell! I could not agree with you more about com studies being the most underrated! My own uncle told people that my degree was the “new liberal arts” degree and was basically useless. Little does he know!

    Also, I love your bit about college being the last time to do what you want with life before work. As anxious as I am to graduate in 12 days and be done with papers and tests, the working world is so different and it will be every day of the rest of my life. And so I’m trying to enjoy college while I still can!

  2. I felt very excited and very sad while reading this. I am also graduating in December and wish I could stay in college forever. In a sense it really is the last of your days of pure freedom. I also could not agree more with what you wrote about the COM department. I definitly feel that the major is underrated, but it is expanding so things will change someday. I also am so grateful for the professors who guided me through the past few years at UNCW.

  3. I’m in the same boat as the people who commented above me in that I am graduating in approximately 12 days. It made me very sad to read Lauren’s words, but it also made me reflect on my own time at UNCW. As much as I want to believe that the “fun” doesn’t stop when college does, I know it is a grim reality. I’ve had so much fun and experienced so many different things that have made me into the person that I am today. I also agree with everyone else that the Communication Studies department is the most underrated department on the UNCW campus. As a business major too, I’ve heard all of the comments there are… my favorite has to be, “so what, you guys learn how to talk?” I definitely think that everything I’ve learned in my COM classes will give me the upper-hand and the personable touch that people from other majors may not have.

  4. First and foremost I would like to wish you good luck in the real world! My take on college is that we pay 20 grand or so a year for a piece of paper and an experience of a lifetime. I often question why I am in college in the first place, to be honest I could ditch the schooling and stay for the social aspect. I have learned alot about communicating with others and I have made wonderful friends that are very supportive. So in that case… remember what you learned in class, but use what you learned from your surroundings and friends for that is what will really land you a job!

  5. I want to add to the congratulations! Also, I respect your aspect on the Communication Studies Department. There are SO many areas to learn from in this department. One might not guess at first glance that the areas of studies can be intense and so rewarding. Best of luck after graduation, and I can’t wait to learn of your success as well as the success of your fellow graduates.

  6. i absolutely love the quote at the beginning! congrats to everyone graduating this december. i cant wait to share the same experience when i get out of high school… spanish is where i’m headed to, thanks for the advice. Good Luck!

  7. I think you have a great point about the Communication Department being under rated at UNCW. As a com major I know how frustrating it can be when fellow students stereotype the department. Congratulations on your graduation!

  8. I would absolutely agree with the fact that Communication Studies is underrated. The way people communicate to one another is a very abstract and complex phenomenon. Sociology, Psychology, Statistics, and so on, are a few of the many areas of studies that intertwine into the study of communication itself. The Communications Department at UNCW has much to offer, and has taught me more about myself in 4 years, than I have realized about myself in the 18 years I have spent growing up!

  9. I must say I find this quote to be very true. What we learn during class is important, however; college isn’t about all the seemingly pointless exams, projects, quizzes, etc. but rather the memories one makes along the way. If everyone went to college just for the classes then they would be robbing themselves of an experience of a lifetime. There are often times where life lessons are learned and these lessons are more than likely being taught out of the classroom and in the real world. The classes are there for skill; however college, if allowed, can be there to provide a life long insight.

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