May 3 — the date of this publication, the last Echo production of my Taylor career — marks 12 days prior to graduation day for me and my class of ‘21 peers.
Over the past several weeks, large portions of my day have been spent thinking and talking about life after Taylor in an almost surreal sense, but as commencement gets closer and closer, those conversations about “life after college” become more and more real.
Taking a big step in life — such as graduating — sparks various emotions in any individual. For me, the notion of no more classes or homework is nothing short of an enormous victory. As much as I love Taylor and so many professors here, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’ve spent numerous hours working on projects and homework that will probably never help me in my professional career or personal life to any extent, ever.
But, as we all know, the Taylor experience is just as much about the cultural experience as it is the academic experience.
There are definitely a few key memories that stick out to me amongst the rest — namely, the personnel assistant (PA) bike trip in the fall of 2019 (shoutout to the Wengatz 2019-2020 PAs), sleeping overnight in Odle just to secure a good spot at Silent Night, the 2019 Daytona Beach Spring Break missions trip and, of course, Airband — more specifically, the all-Wengatz *NSYNC Airband from 2019.
Although the group culture at Taylor is phenomenal, there’s not much that compares to the relational community that this campus has to offer. I do believe that Taylor’s geographical location has a big impact on this — Taylor student’s idea of “fun” is getting coffee at the Bridge, or, if you’re feeling crazy, The Abbey.
If I could change anything about my time at Taylor, I wish I had been more involved with Taylor Student Organizations (TSO). Specifically, I wish I could have served longer on the Inter-Class Council (ICC), a position I’ve held throughout this year.
At the end of the day, I do feel as if I’ve checked off most, if not all, of the classic Taylor “bingo boxes.”
If you’re looking for better ways to get involved on campus, or just to have fun in general, here’s what I would recommend:
Apply to work in a TSO cabinet.
Ride in Taylathon.
Do Airband if you’re able. Dancing on stage with a bunch of your friends is an unforgettable memory.
You really only have these four(ish) years to soak up your college experience. So, if you want to do something, just go for it. College flies by in the blink of an eye.
Looking forward, it’s weird to be entering a world where I won’t be surrounded by people my age, with very similar interests and comparable Taylor experiences.
But at the same time, I’m sure it will be one of the most formative seasons yet, as I meet new people both in my work and church communities, and as I assume the responsibilities that come with life after college.
Lastly, of course, I’ll miss my time spent at the Echo. Throughout my time at the paper, I’ve served as a contributor, staff writer, opinions editor, campus editor and co-editor in chief.
Working at the Echo, I’ve learned a lot in regards to running a publication, but also doing it in a fun and engaging way. At the end of the day, we aim to produce a quality paper each week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also have fun while doing it. Working on staff this semester specifically has been something that takes up a lot of time, but I always find myself looking forward to our weekly production night on Thursdays every week.
Overall, I’m glad for my time spent at Taylor. I’m sure it’s changed me in ways I cannot even think of specifically, but I know I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.