Leah’s Life Lessons: Auf Wiedersehen

Leah Power, Staff Writer

As I sit in front of my computer screen, for the first time, words seem to have failed me. With graduation on the horizon, I can’t help but feel these last five years of lessons, memories, smiles, tears and life wash over me. I realize I could pass on at least half a dozen life lessons to you during my last piece, but I don’t think that would be appropriate. After all, college is the time where we’re meant to learn our own lessons.

So, I suppose the only thing left to do is to say goodbye.

I know that everyone says college changes them; this is clearly a cliché, but FMU really has changed me for the better.

To my professors: you all taught me so much, most of which I could have never learned in a classroom.

I learned that there are some people who, no matter what, will not like you, and that’s okay. I learned that you’re going to be faced with people you disagree with, but they sometimes become the most influential people in your life. Those are the people who force you to examine your beliefs so you can defend them. They’re the people who push you to be a better person. I learned that there are some professors who, contrary to the stereotypes of the distant professors, truly care about their students, and for those select few I am truly grateful. I honestly do not know what I’m going to do without all of you acting as my personal support system. You’ve given me confidence in myself, a chance to have life-changing experiences and enough memories to spend a lifetime looking back on.

I know I’ve beaten this subject like a dead horse, but I couldn’t leave without reflecting on my study abroad experience. As I got to know people around the world, I became a much more open-minded person. As I experienced their different cultures and beliefs, I gained some life-long friends and learned a great deal. Moving to a different country also forced me to face some of the most personal hardships of my life and become self reliant. I know without a doubt I wouldn’t be as strong of a person today if it wasn’t for my time abroad. After hitch-hiking in France, cliffdiving in Italy and being stranded in the countryside of Holland, I learned just how much I was capable of dealing with and the wonderful gift of charades. All of those I would have never learned if FMU had not given me the chance to experience life outside of the U.S.

Now on to my education, because I’ve heard that’s actually the whole reason we’re here. In my time at FMU, my education has built me into the kind of person I’m extremely proud of. My teachers instilled in me a love for Austen, Dickinson, Bradstreet, feminist gender and queer theory and most importantly rhetoric. I leave here with a voice that I’m not only proud to use, but with which I believe I have the tools to succeed. I’m no longer the shy young woman with nothing to say. I know that same story of success lies in each and every student who walks through the halls each building of campus if they’re open to all the experiences that this fine institution has to offer.

So FMU, you’ve made me a better person. You’ve become my home for almost half a decade. You’ve taught me how to use my voice and prepared me for whatever comes next. You’ve given me the best college experience I could have ever asked for.

I’m not sure what lies in front of me, but I know exactly who stands behind me. With that solace, I’m ready to go. (Drops mic).