Don't Grow Up, Just Do Grown Up Things | Brett O'Grady's Senior Goodbye

OGrady 1Change is difficult, yet unavoidable. They say the key to life is adapting, but I have never found ease in adapting to changes. I would be lying if I said I did not tend to be a creature of habit and comfort. It’s hard for me to let go of these past four years at Monmouth, just as it was for me to let go of my high school years.

It seems like just yesterday I was crying about my high school graduation with the thought of all  of my childhood friends being scattered at various colleges throughout the country, and now the time has come again. Cliché, but where did the time go?

Somewhere between the embarrassingly fun nights out, the sometimes (most of the time)-questionable decisions, and forming the amazing friendships I have today, I have transformed at Monmouth into the person I always wanted to be.

I started at Monmouth a shy, 18 year old who thought she peaked in high school and had no clue what she wanted to do with her life. Without even realizing, I adapted and transformed into this 22 year old who has a job lined up after she graduates, knows exactly what she wants to do, has goals and is confident in her skill set.

OGrady 2It may have taken four years for it all to come together and make sense, but I would not have wanted to spend the past four years anywhere else. While I am certainly not overjoyed to graduate, I know the future is coming regardless of how much we protest and so, I wanted to take some time to appreciate the people who helped me along my journey.

The Outlook: This is my third year at the Outlook and no group of editors has come close to this year’s. You are all super talented and make the office feel like a second home. I will miss Outlook Monday’s with all of my heart. Also, wanted to add a big necessary thank you to Sandy for everything she does, plus organizing my past three trips to California and the Outlook staff making each of the trips so memorable.

OGrady 3Clarence (Tori, Prach, Kels, Jamie): We are all almost as dysfunctional as the house itself. Thank you girls for making a rotting, falling apart house feel like home. I am really glad I never fell through my floor into the living room, but since we have the house until June, I guess I should not speak too soon?

Jack’s Goal Line Stand: Not sure how I got so lucky to have such an ideal college job. Thank you for hiring me even though I started off as a quiet, underage girl with no waitressing experience. Thank you for giving me a completely insane, loving second family that I will miss like crazy.

Study Abroad: Firstly, I apologize if anyone saw me sobbing to my family prior to going through security. As I said, I’m not the best with change. I was terrified and intimidated by the whole experience to come! Do not get me wrong, I worked long strenuous hours at Jack’s and budgeted so I was able to study abroad and as soon as I got to my apartment in Florence, Italy, everything felt right. I made memories I would never have even dreamed of making. I celebrated my 21st birthday island hopping in Greece. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity and the incredible rays of sunshine it brought into my life that I now consider friends I will have forever. I thank everyone I went with for sharing all the remarkable experiences throughout Europe with me; only thing I could have done without is Sierra laughing in her sleep.

OGrady 4My Alumni: Kyle, Maggie, Rachel, Kelly, Nicole, (and Dylan): I am so unbelievably thankful I have the privilege of calling you all my friends and role models. I have a ridiculous amount of fun and laughter whenever we get together, and I look forward to even more in the future. Thankful for Kyle’s ID which abled me to be a part of the best (beeg) crew. Maggie, thank you for introducing me to literally everyone you know at Monmouth, getting me a position at the Outlook and being by my side for the best sophomore Fall semester anyone could ever wish for.

Staff: Jeff Mass, thanks for helping me at least seem like an adult and leading me to the career fair where I landed a sick internship, which ultimately led to me lining up my job after graduation! Professor Rocereto, thank you for being such a reassuring, caring advisor. Sorry I came crying to you every time I thought I was going to fail a class but somehow, never actually did. I very much appreciate you!

OGrady 5They Don’t Even Go Here! Lee Ann, Paige, and Dominique: I want to start with saying thank you all for being the most loyal, pleasant, best times on earth. Lee Ann, we have been best friends since fifth grade and psychologists say if a friendship lasts for more then seven years, it’ll last a lifetime. However, I do not need a psychologist to reinforce what I already knew! I will never tire of our stupid conversations. Thank you for being you, always being by my side and also, introducing Paige and Dom into my life. I will always remember the ridiculous times we had (well, snippets at least) and look forward to all the good times in the future.

With getting involved at Monmouth, I met some overwhelmingly outstanding people throughout my time here and also would like to think that I learned a good deal of lessons.

Looking back on my four years here, I leave you kids with three big suggestions:

1. Savor, appreciate, and make the most of the limited time you have here. It goes by in the blink of an eye. When you get to the end of the journey, as I am now approaching, you’re going to want to have some good stories to look back on.

2. Get out of your comfort zone! This is so crucial. Have fun and embark on adventures you never thought you would be able to! I cannot stress enough how important it is to expand your horizon in every possible field. I would not be the person I am today if I did not push myself to get on that plane and study in a foreign country for four months. You cannot live the same year multiple times and call it a life.

OGrady 63. Most importantly, do not sweat the small stuff because in the end, it’s all small stuff. Forget the cute guy who hits you with a “wyd” text at 2:00 am but you never see during daylight. Shake it off and move on. Life is so much bigger then this place and these people. I beg you to not waste time worrying about things that will not matter to you in a year or so. Focus on your experience and your happiness; that is all that matters.

I have no doubts that I will get through this heavy-hearted goodbye to college and transition into the real world, because Monmouth showed me it’s possible. My time here helped shape who I am without me even realizing.

I will leave you with a quote by the great soul that was Tom Petty who sums college up, in my opinion, perfectly:

“I’ve learned one thing, and that’s to quit worrying about stupid things. You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ‘til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does...”

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