Don’t squander your last month

Blue leggings, pink boots, a tutu, and spiky, highlighted hair. Pikachu hoodie, black vest, mini skirt, and thigh-high boots. Converse sneakers, knee-high zebra socks, short shorts, and a bright yellow hooded towel. The fashion statements came and went past my girlfriend and me in a never-ending stream.

I don’t think we’re in Castleton anymore.

It’s true: we were standing in the lobby of Madison Square Garden, Asian culture swarming around us, for the first ever US tour of the Japanese rock band L’Arc~en~Ciel. It was the only North American stop on the trip, and no one wanted to miss out. The best part of it was, our tickets were free.

Sure, there were a few drawbacks to the trip. It was a Sunday at 8:00 p.m., five hours of combined travel to school-which put us at a 4:30 a.m. return time, complete with a day of work and class ahead of us. The upside drowned out all of that though: it was literally a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In any setting other than college, chances are we couldn’t have accepted the invitation to take a five hour trip for a lesson in foreign culture and excellent music. That’s one of the wonderful things about college though. While the focus should always be on advancing your education and bettering yourself, there will always be completely unique experiences available to you.

Most students look at college and see boundless freedom, which to many means a grand chance to get blasted with friends. While this is clearly a part of college culture, think about what else you could be doing during all those thirsty Thursdays and wasted weekends. There’s nothing wrong with cracking open a beer and watching the game with friends or going to the Dogg for fun once in a while, but when it becomes a weekly (or more) ritual, you lose so much of what college offers.

In my last year at Castleton, I’ve seized opportunities to go to hockey games in Buffalo and New York City. I’ve attended a journalism convention in Times Square, I’ve seen Niagara falls at midnight, and been to the 20th anniversary world tour of the most famous Japanese rock band of all time. All of these are memories that I will hold forever, and things that I may never get to experience again when I enter the post-college world.

I’ve heard the saying about living for the nights you can’t remember with the people you’ll never forget, which sums up a lot of college for a lot of people. Wouldn’t it be better to share nights you never want to forget with the people you hold dear?

If you’re graduating this May, don’t squander your last month of what are arguably the best years of your life getting drunk every weekend. Think about how you’ll look back on your senior year of college in ten years. Make it worth remembering.

– Nick Minarik

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