Looking Back: Reflections of a College Senior

By Sally Kaplan, SED’17

  1. Find a Balance

After four years and many sleepless nights, I can attest that as a senior, I am still trying to strike the perfect balance and that is okay. College is all about juggling many different experiences and learning how to multitask and manage your time. There are times when you will pull an all-nighter or not be able to attend LifeTriangleyour friend’s party, but in the end, use those moments to analyze and figure out what is most important in your life. Thrive on FOMO but don’t let it take over your life….basically make time to treat yourself and get the most out of life while still staying healthy and realistic. Overall, the most important advice I can provide after reflecting on my four years is that it is hard trying to find that balance but everyone is in it together so enjoy these incredible years of life, don’t take yourself too seriously, and listen to your mother when she tells you to sleep and eat your vegetables.

  1. Join ALL clubs

Ok fine, maybe not all clubs, but most! The beauty of entering college is you can rid yourself of any insecurities that may have been apparent in the past, and utilize your future to explore new interests. My name appeared on the belly dancing club, female hip hop team and veggie club sign up sheets that first week of SPLASH and I have no regrets. Even if I did not end up pursuing all these interests, I will never regret at least trying out these hobbies. You never know what passions will pop up so don’t hold yourself back from exploring all routes. Also, practicing the skill of putting yourself out there will begin to become more automatic and help in future situations. So go out there and pursue unknown passions!

  1. Explore

One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to not limit oneself to the confines of the campus; explore all that Boston and this world has to offer. One of the most rewarding things I have done since attending BU has been to study abroad in Sydney, Australia. There, I was able to teach in an Australian classroom, travel to New Zealand, visit a different beach every weekend, pet a shark, go sand duning and Sally Kaplan skydiving in Australiaeven go skydiving. This list could extend for many more pages but I cut it short to show how much I was able to newly experience by just stepping outside of my comfort zone and exploring a new world. I understand that traveling that far might not be for everyone so if that’s the truth, then stay in Boston and just try to visit a new neighborhood each week. The South End has great farmers markers, while the Seaport is beautiful by the water, and the North End has the best cannolis around. There are so many little treasures and adventures around every corner so don’t take the city for granted and take advantage of the fact that Commonwealth is not our only campus; Boston is our campus.

  1. Follow the Golden Rule

Golden Rule: Treat people the way you want to be treated. This childhood rule should always be followed, even after you have left your childhood home, or bought your own apartment or become part of the working world. While reflecting back on the lessons I have taken from my past four years, I think it is worthy to include this on my list because no matter what accomplishments you may have, the gut feeling people maintain about how you treated them will always stick out more. Respect the people around you, no matter who they are or what they can do for you because we all are human and deserve respect. This rule has become especially relevant in the last few years and I believe I have grown and learned more while talking to people who have different views than me than I have talking to those that are just like me. Boston is such a diverse city so pursue conversations with those who are different from you and understand another person’s perspective. Childhood lessons tend to apply for life so make an effort to hold onto this Golden Rule.

  1. Reflect

“Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” The pretense behind those six superfluous words has guided my growth as an adult. As a graduating senior, I have had a lot of time to make friends, make mistakes and make memories. I don’t think there is one person in college who can say they haven’t made a mistake or haven’t done something they laugh about now, but the key is to always be learning. If you feel stressed or regretful about an event or situation in your life, reflect on why you feel that way and make a necessary change. The best way to improve your emotional health is to be aware and cognizant of your strengths AND weaknesses. Reflect on your life often and question yourself. No growth can come from always believing you have nothing to learn so use your own experiences to inform your future and forward your success. I chose this as my final step because it is so easy to get caught up in the four unbelievable years of college, but taking time for even just a few minutes a day to reflect and understand your behaviors, relationships and choices will stabilize you in this hectic time. I have changed so much from the young girl who entered Warren Towers for the first time and it excites me to know that I still have future evolutions to make. Reflect to inform yourself, reflect to grow, and reflect to take steps forward.