UM-Dearborn
(Logo courtesy of UM-Dearborn)

By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor

I am currently within two weeks of graduating college. Motivation is falling and excitement is rising. For the past few years, I have been anxiously awaiting the moment that is within my grasp. For those who are in the shoes I once wore where it seems like getting your degree is light years away, I assure you that your time will come faster than you think – so be patient.

I was asked to write a farewell piece on my time at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. But I didn’t want this to be another piece where I go on about how I loved walking into the CASL building, seeing the beautiful scenery on campus or thanking my pet for getting me through a tough day.

It’s not that those things aren’t true. I enjoyed my time here at UM-Dearborn. I’ve met people I’ll probably call friends for life. I’ve acquired memories that I’ll take to my grave. And I’ve received an education that many universities can’t offer.

To be honest, this adventure almost never happened. As I went into my final semester at Schoolcraft College I was looking to transfer to a college that I could live at. I was eager to get away from home and have the full college experience. Staying in a dorm, going to football games on Saturdays, making the tough decision to go to that weeknight party or study for a test, I was looking forward to that.

But then a counselor at Schoolcraft ruined it for me. While reviewing my grades during a meeting, he looked up at me, saw me wearing a Michigan shirt and hat and asked if I was a Michigan fan. While I think my attire was an obvious enough answer, I simply replied yes. He then asked if I had any interest in UM-Dearborn.

To keep it real with you guys, I didn’t. All I really knew about UM-Dearborn is that one of my best friends went there. I didn’t know where it was located, I didn’t know if they offered programs I was interested in, and the biggest factor in my mind- I wasn’t even sure if I’d get accepted.

My grades weren’t perfect, I had resurrected my GPA after spending too much time doing things that didn’t consist of studying and homework my first three semesters at Schoolcraft. But taking the counselor’s advice, I applied and was accepted.

As a kid who grew up loving everything Michigan and having a large portion of my closet designated to maize and blue, I was ecstatic.  No, I wouldn’t be a student in Ann Arbor, but I was still going to be a part of the Michigan family, as my acceptance letter said.

During my first semester here, I had an eerily familiar feeling. I was driving to class and going home right after they ended. It was the same feeling I had at Schoolcraft, except I was driving in a different direction.

Going to a commuter school has its disadvantages. But, those disadvantages teach you something. You have to go out of your way to be involved. You have to actively search for things to do around campus.

For most of us, life isn’t going to hand us things. Most of us won’t get a map that leads us to success. You have to go out and find it. And being at a commuter school helps you become comfortable with that.

I did just that when I reached out to the student newspaper, the Michigan Journal, and became a writer. And it has honestly been a great experience.

To be honest, it’s the only reason I stay on campus as often as I do. If I don’t have anything to do with the paper on days I attend class, I go home as soon as classes are over.

With under two weeks to go in my collegiate career, I wish I had gotten more involved. Being involved not only means having a busier schedule., it means more friends, more memories and leads to a bigger network.

I encourage everyone to get involved around our campus because I feel it will truly be beneficial and enhance your college experience. Even if you find a club or cause that you lose interest in, there are plenty of other ones out there to join.

Life is what you make it. For people that say this place isn’t fun because “all I do is come to class and then leave” – well that’s because that’s all you choose to do. There are plenty of welcoming clubs around campus that would make your college experience here at UM-Dearborn more fun.

So as I end this piece and say farewell to my college experience, I remind all of you not to be afraid to try things, go out and get involved. One of the worst things you can have in life is regret. And when your time comes to walk across that stage and end a chapter in your life, you don’t want to walk away wishing you had done more.