Michael Malpiedi, Politics
As I bellied up to my first-ever deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey (served with an ice-cold Shiner, of course), I got to thinking about how it would be my last one as a Crusader. Come December 12, I will be graduating and, before my time comes, I have a few words for you.
First of all, thank you, University of Dallas. Thank you, because, even though I came in as a non-trad transfer, y’all welcomed me as a colleague and bandmate. Sometimes it was … well … sanctifying, but every day has been a blessing. My position as both an outsider and an insider has afforded me a unique look at this unique institution and the great state in which it stands.
I was asked to give advice, and I hope what little I have to give can be at least a tiny bit helpful. During your time at UD, go and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Campus is rife with opportunities, and a little docility will go a long way. Go to Swing Club (not as weird as Dragon Club, I promise), go to Friday Nights, go see the play, actually do the reading! Let UD work on you; the chance to learn something (or meet someone!) is before you every day.
Finally, a request: Demand live music from SPUD, from OSL and from your peers. MacBooks and touchpads have their places, but they cannot replace even the worst live band. Live musical performance with actual instruments is a uniquely communal act, and is as essential as it is enjoyable.
Jill Dominy, Theology
As the last finals week of my undergraduate career races toward me faster than an Olympic sprinter, my mind is cluttered with trivial facts I must remember for finals: The first Roman Missal was printed on a printing press in 1474. Lambert Beauduin, a 20th-century figure, is usually credited with founding the modern liturgical movement. Thursday is a MWF class. But alongside such (comparatively) insignificant facts, the life lessons that I have learned in my three-and-a-half years at this spectacular and mind-opening university also occasionally surface in my overloaded brain. So, I offer three (because we love the Trinitarian number at UD, but mainly because I am a theology major) final thoughts to you, students of the University of Dallas, as I bring my journey at this university to a close.
Firstly, studying is not everything. Yes, you did come to this fine institution to learn, and I am not saying you should blow off school or that you should slack in your vocation to be a student. However, if it is a Saturday night, get out of the Bubble! Part of the UD experience is going to Whataburger at 3 a.m. the night before a final, even though you should probably be studying (or sleeping).
Secondly, do not be afraid to disagree. If your professor says something that you are not sure of, question it. Test everything. If someone has an opinion you do not share, do not be ashamed to stand up for what you think is right. As a student at “The Catholic University for Independent Thinkers,” actually challenge yourself to think truly independently as our motto dares us to do.
Finally, not everyone has to go to Rome. In fact, as someone who did not go, I do not regret my decision at all. It may seem like all your friends will go and that the Rome semester would be the experience of a lifetime. However, the truth is, if you do not have the money, the thought of ruining your perfect GPA scares you to death, you get stuck on the waiting list, or you know traveling and studying at the same time would stress you out, your UD experience will not be tainted in any way by staying in Irving. There are many who disagree with me, but as a proud “Nomer,” I can say with confidence that Rome is not for every UD student, and it is perfectly acceptable not to go.
Being a December graduate is bittersweet. Thank you, UD, for making my undergraduate experience unforgettable. To those of you continuing on our proud tradition, I wish you all the best!
Johnny Lappe, Politics
We have been lied to at every level of our education. In elementary school, they told us that all you were allowed to use in middle school was cursive. In middle school, they told us that if you fell asleep in class in high school, they’d mark you absent. In high school, they told us that we didn’t have to go to class in college if we didn’t feel like it. I guess they didn’t know about the University of Dallas’ attendance policy.
So what is the great lie of college? What have we been hearing about life after college that’s just not true? The lie is that life after college is the start of “real life.” I am graduating in a week and have heard this countless times over the past … well, four-and-a-half years; but what is it about college that makes it supposedly not count as “real life”? The decisions you make in college definitely have real consequences. The 200,000 you spent on a four-year-long book club has definitely been accruing real interest. The good and bad times came with real joy and real sorrow.
College is real life. We have all been given a great opportunity to spend four years (hopefully) growing up before we face the new challenges that come after graduation, but what we do here matters, too. Enjoy your time here, but it is going to end eventually. And when you do leave, don’t think of it as finally entering the “real world.” Bubbles are real, too.
Hilary Maitlen, Theology
I like to tell people I have chronic senioritis. I know everyone feels this way, but when you’ve been an undergraduate for as long as I have, you truly understand what that really means. Three- and-a-half years ago, I transferred into this beloved University of Dallas Bubble – I can still remember how excited I was to open that admit box and see all the goodies inside, even the blue aluminum bottle that I’m sure I never even used.
Since I’m getting ready to graduate in just a few short weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my time here. I know it’s cheesy, but when people ask me to describe my favorite things about UD, the first thing that always comes to mind are my friends. You can’t deny that the education and the Rome semester are incredible, but the truth is that I would neither have succeeded in my classes, nor would I have had the courage to study abroad, had it not been for my friends here. I’m only beginning to realize that four years (or six-and-a-half, in my case) in college is an extremely insignificant amount of time, but it really is such an important period for so many people. And the thing that makes it all worthwhile is that there are so many wonderful people to share in the experience.
I don’t know what life will be like outside the Bubble, but I’m optimistic: I’ve been blessed with a solid education, great life experiences and the best friends a gal could have, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.