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Before Your Leave the Great Lawn…

Once mid-January came around, Hawks were bustling back to classes, anticipating (or not) for another semester. Many students may have been groaning at how quickly winter break passed as they were already spending hundreds of dollars on more textbooks. But for approximately 1,000 seniors, they have been feeling like the opposite end of the spectrum.

For those graduating, including several Outlook editors, these next few months as Monmouth Hawks will be our last. And if you’re not, well, you still need to take advantage of what the University and its surrounding community has to offer. Not to get all sentimental about it, but seniors, you can be miserable and fearful of the dark and frightening ‘real world’ out there, or you can stand tall, stand proud and most importantly, stand Blue and White.

Here are some tips to abide by to make your final undergraduate semester at the University your greatest and most memorable yet.

Soar, Hawks. Not literally, but get on a plane and do some traveling! If you had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy, Spain, England or Australia, that’s great news. If you’re a senior and weren’t able to fulfill such a wish, you can still do your own traveling in the tristate area, or even West Long Branch itself with the friends we’ll be surrounded with until May. Take as many random trips as possible, whether it’s to Atlantic City, New York or anywhere in between. It might be the last chance to do something like that; once you get a ‘real job’ you may not have the option to take vacation time for quite a while. Don’t forget about your own backyard here at the University. Never been to Pier Village to eat at It’s Greek to Me or the Turning Point? Try them both, you won’t regret it.

Another way to make your last semester count is visiting parts of the campus that you may have never really seen before. How often have you been in the Woods Theatre, or even investigated all of the different turns and twists of Wilson Hall?

Explore all of your interests, even the ones that don’t have to do with your major. College is the only place where there is an abundance of lectures, presentations, Q & A’s, sporting events, movies and art shows hosted, more often than not, by speakers from all over the world. If we’re paying over x amount of dollars a year for tuition, don’t you want to make sure you get every penny’s worth? Events such as the On Screen, In Person series or even the Black Maria Film Festival are interesting places to partake in new, interesting uses of film. Participate in the Visiting Writers series, as well. It’s all free, so why not take advantage of it?

Okay, so the real world is creeping up on all of us. One of the toughest things college students struggle with is landing a job after graduation. It’s a reality everyone has to face; however, every beginning is an ending. We just don’t know it at the time. Don’t let the negativity of a less than successful job search affect making a positive last semester at Monmouth. Your dream job and you will meet, regardless if you have it this coming May.

Whether you’re graduating or not, take notice of the people you spend your time with. There are friendships that hopefully will continue to exist long after graduation has become a memory. Enjoy the ability to simply hang out and have conversations face-to-face in your dorm, apartment or house with each other. Spend as much time with your friends as you can. After spending every Monday and Tuesday together for the past few years, working at The Outlook has become more of a family than a staff. It’s more than a workplace, because it’s become a home. This is the attitude upcoming graduates should consider.

A simple walk could be the best way to check out the campus before one leaves for the ‘real world’ and really put a place in their heart for the home of the Monmouth Hawks. By doing all this, it should generate enough memories and feelings to make it somewhat easier to say goodbye to the University.

Do things outside of your comfort zone. Take that job you’re a little nervous about. Join an organization, even if you don’t know anyone in it. Go to one of the movie screenings in Oakwood Hall. Don’t worry if you can’t get someone to watch the movie with you; everyone watches a movie in silence anyway!

Be a little adventurous and you might surprise yourself. Look forward, future leaders, but remember where you came from.