By Sara Boyles
As June nears, the college years of Santa Clara’s senior class are coming to an end. Although it can be somewhat nerve-racking, post-college is an exciting time in any individual’s life.
As these beloved members of the Santa Clara community begin to take off into the “real world,” I wanted to ask a few seniors to reflect on their time at Santa Clara and offer a few words of advice to the younger classes.
After four years, each senior will leave bursting with joyous memories of his or her time as an undergraduate. Unfortunately, there are also a few regrets.
For example, several Broncos would have liked to become more involved with clubs and activities.
“I would have taken more on-campus leadership positions. I think the students who lead clubs and (Chartered Student Organizations) are some of the brightest and most outspoken students on campus,” said Fana Yohannes.
Tyler Knapp wanted to participate in more intramurals, while Kevin Oliver genuinely regrets not spending time with some furry friends.
“One thing I’d change – I wish I’d never missed Dog Days or the petting zoo,” said Oliver.
Current underclassmen can avoid this by simply being aware and considering the multitude of recreational opportunities offered on campus.
The most powerful memories were usually the fondest, and the ones the departing seniors will be telling their friends, children and grandchildren for decades to come.
Bronco basketball represent an important aspect in Max Minowitz’s college years.
“My fondest memory at Santa Clara has to be during my sophomore year when we upset Gonzaga (University) and then rushed the court,” said Minowitz.
Knapp found her favorite memory in bonding with her Residential Learning Community Association team.
“We went on a retreat with the (Community Facilitators) before school started and it was a pinnacle moment of feeling extremely connected and proud of my school and all my classmates,” she said.
For others, there has not been a single event or memory that stands out, but rather, the general feeling of camaraderie and genuine friendship that students embody.
“I’d say walking around campus, saying hi, high-fiving and smiling to friendly faces always makes my day,” said Mary Kate Planek.
What’s amazing about these wonderful stories is that sage advice is never far behind. While not exactly who we’d call ‘elders,’ the graduating class of 2013 is not without some choice words of wisdom.
“Drink lots of water. You’ll feel better” is a tip from Bronco cross-country star Oliver. Other basic ways to stay healthy, such as eating well and sleeping enough, will keep you energetic enough to go out and make friends.
Academics can be a great way to meet people as well. If you make friends with your classmates, they’ll likely share some of the same interests. This can lead to many late-night conversations about topics that might not be as interesting to others.
This goes hand in hand with another piece of advice: Study abroad if at all possible. The Santa Clara experience is not just about what happens on campus. It’s about exploring all the opportunities that the university provides.
“Believe in carpe diem while you still can,” said Yohannes.
Freshmen and sophomores, go out and meet as many people as you can. Some of the friendships forged on campus will last far beyond the time that we’re actually here.
One theme that seems to reign over all is the sense of unity. The tight-knit relationships between students at this university have affected them in a way that could not be found anywhere else. As the seniors prepare to start a new chapter in their lives, I hope they will always remember the community at Santa Clara that will always have their back.
As Josh Chemparathy put it, “Feel free to carelessly skip around, because if you trip and fall, there’s always a fellow Bronco around to help you up.”
Sara Broyles is a junior communication major.