By Senior Maddie Fitzsimmons
As much as I hate to be typing this, the sad reality has come to me that it my last semester at USC. It has been such an incredible ride with so many memories, and while I’d do anything to go back to freshman year and have seven more semesters, there’s no use wishing for what isn’t possible. Instead, I am writing this post for myself and for all the other seniors to make the most of our time here so that as we cross that stage and get our diplomas, we have absolutely zero regrets.
Now, New Years Resolutions are great, and I hope everyone reading this wrote down at least a few to motivate themselves through 2017, but what I’m writing is a little bit of a twist on the NYR’s. I call them “Season Finale Resolutions”. Season Finale is what we had started calling this final year of college. You know those feelings of nostalgia when you get to that last episode of Friends or How I Met Your Mother. We weren’t ready for it to end! So you go back and watch from the beginning again and wish you could feel the way you felt when you watched it all for the first time, but it just isn’t the same.
Seniors, we are in that final episode right now! We can’t mindlessly watch this episode. We only get to watch it once and then in the blink of an eye we’ll be head high in 9-5 workweeks in, yes, the dreaded real world. So tune in right now, follow these Season Finale Resolutions and you’ll walk across that stage in May with a smile on your face, knowing that you’ve lived this experience to the fullest.
Utilize your resources.
At this point we’re so comfortable with everything we just try to run through our daily checklist as fast as possible. Workout at Strom, pick food up at the house, fine tune the resume at the career center, head to chapter. All of these things seem like chores. And I get it, all of our schedules are so different, but even once or twice a week come to the house and sit down and eat with anyone and everyone who is here. How often next year are we going to be blessed with a full meal with all of our friends (where getting a second and third helping is welcomed and even encouraged)? Next year I have no doubt I’ll be cooking a meal for one, sitting down and hurriedly eating it before rushing off to the hospital for a twelve-hour shift. I think I’ll take Joanie’s stuffed shells and brownies sitting at a table built for six that can actually squeeze sixteen any day over that. Use this beautiful house and the resources that come with it.
Be Present Whenever Possible
This seems like the whole point of what I’m saying but bear with me, its more specific than that. How often are we mindlessly scrolling through the same pictures on Instagram during the bachelor commercials just to be doing something with our hands? Or bringing our phones out dinner to get the perfect snap video of all of us “cheers-ing” around the table. I know I know I am SO guilty of it too. A way I have found to combat this need to document everything on our phones or constantly be updating our status is to write more with pen and paper. Write it all down when you get home at the end of the day. Writing is the best link to memory, and next year you can go back and read through all the amazing memories as a pick me up. I know those of you that went abroad can attest to the fact that all the tourists who sit in the same spot for 20 minutes, having someone try to get a good picture are not truly living in the present moment. There’s no difference back here in Columbia. Freshmen and sophomore year I wanted to post everything on Snapchat so that my friends at home knew I was getting out, making friends and having a good time. Now, it’s so much nicer to tuck the phone away for the whole night and focus on talking to everyone around you. Sometimes it is easier said than done but we have got to start looking up from our phones.
There is so much to do outside in Columbia if we really think about it. Not just sitting outside at Salty Nut but running or walking (rollerblading?) the two amazing river-walks, Soda City Saturdays, running the stairs at the State House. Do fun weekend activities that you can break a sweat at with your friends that definitely beats the grueling treadmill at Strom and is always such a fun memory to have.
Money is tight but….
This is the tough one. In fact. The whole balance of everything is the tough one. We want to workout to be fit but we also want that cookout milkshake to study with. We want to be social and go out but we also want to save our money and get rest. The whole balance of life is so difficult especially in these final few months. There is no easy resolution for me to say for this except to be aware of it. Try to make a budget for yourself and stick to it. Instead of going to a coffee shop 3 times a week only go once when it is absolutely necessary, and the rest, come drink a cup of coffee at the house (it really is just as good its just a mental addiction to Starbucks I swear). Borrow a formal dress instead of buying one, save food in tupper-wear for the weekend. Once you’ve made your budget on the things you absolutely know you spend too much unnecessary money on, make a bucket list. Going to eat at the Whig or the Top of Carolina, going to a concert at Music Farm, a boat cruise in Key West for spring break. Now you can start planning with the money you do have left these things you really want to do. Things that mean so much more than all the money added up on coffee (can you tell what my weakness is?) Now you can finally plan a Friday night Friends dinner without panicking how you’re going to fill your car with gas this week.
This is my final resolution. Maybe it is the (past) president in me speaking but being involved in KD events is what is really going to make these last few months memorable. When are we going to get to bring a date, get dressed up, have amazing meatballs, a band, an awesome venue, and all of your friends there ever again? Maybe our weddings (one day) but even that just sounds stressful! Take a night off of five points to come to the functions. Which means getting the points to come to the functions which means, coming to a sisterhood or Girl Scout event. They are NOT just for the freshman and sophomores. Plus, when we are all interviewing for those first few jobs and they see that big Kappa Delta Sorority on your resume, they are going to ask you about it. How much better would you feel it you could confidently (yes, confidently!) say that just a few weeks ago you attended a service event with the girl scouts where you helped to teach them self defense, or went to the food kitchen with them and our VP-CS Caroline Ambrose. Your employer would be blown away by such dedication to such a great cause, and even more than that it will truly warm you from the inside out.
I am not saying any of this to be any kind of lifestyle blogger, or act like I know what’s best for anyone reading this. I’m saying this because I’m going to miss this place so much and all the people in it. We can’t take for granted what we have sitting in front of us right at this very moment. Get out there and lets make this that Season Finale that leaves everyone speechless and in tears.