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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The UA checklist: How students capitalize on college years

    College bucket list: Learn a new sport: check. Write for the newspaper: check. Study abroad: maybe someday.

    We’re about halfway through the semester. Whether you’re a freshman or senior, your time in college is ticking by. You’ve got four-ish years where dreaming is encouraged and the real world isn’t quite here yet.

    So what is it that you want to do before these golden years are up?

    “”I’d like to study abroad,”” said Jami Halliday, an anthropology freshman. “”I would study anywhere. I’ve been stuck in Arizona forever.””

    Brendan Kirby, a freshman majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, also hopes to spend some time away from Arizona during the next couple of years.

    “”I’ve seen mountains in Colorado, but I want to go to New Zealand,”” said Kirby. “”The mountains there seem so much better.””

    Most of us hope to go on some travel-related adventure before entering the real world once and for all. Eric Brazil, 23, did this without even leaving the country.

    “”I’m not a student,”” said Brazil. “”I moved to Los Angeles from Oregon with $14. It was scary but amazing. I pulled through and am now in Tucson doing rap and working as a chef.””

    Though he’s not a college student, Brazil’s move embodies the freedom that makes college an ideal time for exploration.

    “”This is an age to learn,”” said Brazil. “”I think a lot of people don’t take time to learn. You can do it in your spare time without being enrolled in school.””

    Halliday, with her major decided, wants to do some learning outside of the classroom.

    “”I want to join the ballroom dance club,”” said Halliday. “”I don’t know how to dance and would like to learn while I can.””

    Kirby, like Halliday, recognizes that these are the years when our bodies are fittest — that is, if you managed to evade the notorious “”freshman fifteen.””

    “”I would like to start an intramural soccer team,”” said Kirby. “”I used to play in high school but gave it up after my sophomore year. Everyone should go out for intramurals. It’s a great way to stay active and meet new people.””

    Steven Lin, a 22-year-old graduate student studying law, reflected on his own undergraduate experience.

    “”What I remember most is the people,”” said Lin. “”I don’t remember the classes, but I remember all of the people you meet.””

    Every day, we interact with people from different backgrounds, countries and belief systems who may have a hand in shaping who you become.

    “”If I was a student, I would be a theology major,”” said Brazil. “”Someone’s beliefs are powerful, and I think it’s important to know about the beliefs of others.””

    Most adults look back fondly on these exploratory college days, reminiscing about the glory days of old when they felt invincible and the world was conquerable.

    With no kids to chauffeur, minimal bills to pay and a general absence of the real world, now is the time to take a risk and live a little.

    Whether you decide to backpack across Europe or face a fear, get started on your college bucket list.

    You’re on your own now,”” said Halliday. “”You get to make your own decisions. College gives you a chance to do that.””

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