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Seniors should enjoy last bit of college life before reality arrives

March 27, 2003

By Christina Molloy

All over campus, my fellow graduating seniors are looking excitedly toward the end of the semester, counting down the weeks and days until they will walk across the stage and be a student no longer. All anyone can think about is how great it'll be to finish with class forever. Even my own mother has reminded me of the 'light at the end of the tunnel.' But I think being a student definitely has its advantages.

As a reminder of the great reasons to appreciate this time in our lives, I've prepared a list of the top 10 reasons why seniors should take advantage of their last days of being students and the rest of you should enjoy what you have left of your college years.

1. Student discounts -- At my local theater at home in Austin, without a student discount, tickets after 6 p.m. are $8. Maybe you don't go to the movies much in Waco (because you're studying of course), but with a student ID, you can watch a movie for only $5. That's a pretty good discount. Students also pay less for tickets to almost any Baylor event and some other local businesses and restaurants.

2. Freedom -- Once parents drive away after Welcome Week, most students are on their own for the first time in their lives. And most also don't have the responsibilities that come later in life, such as family, careers and bills. There is also freedom in scheduling your day. Isn't it great to go to the mall on a weekday morning between classes while most people are at work?

3. Comfort -- The majority of students in my classes today wore jeans, T-shirts and flip-flops. Although career wear has become more casual in recent years, those of you escaping Hankamer this year can expect a stricter dress code in the work place than the typical college-student look.

4. The McLane Student Life Center -- It's basically the fitness enthusiast's dream come true and completely free to students. Of course, we do pay a student fee every year, but most of that goes into a loan we won't finish repaying until retirement, so we don't feel the effects of it while in school.

5. Diadeloso -- Everyone gets out of class to celebrate a bear. Try to pass this off as a legitimate holiday to a stodgy boss in a glassy business complex when you're working in the real world and you probably won't have much luck. Spring break probably wouldn't go over too well either.

6. A beautiful campus -- Have you ever noticed the fresh blooming flowers around Pat Neff Hall in the dead of winter (when it gets down to 40 degrees)? Or the glowing lights of Burleson at night or the massive trees that seem to be everywhere? So the ever-present construction and the sickening smell of bird droppings isn't so great. It's better than a gray-walled cubicle in a gray office building smelling of stale coffee.

7. Free sporting events -- OK, so the football team hasn't won any championships lately, but other sports, like tennis and baseball, have done well. Besides, going to games is almost as much about atmosphere as the game. And, once again, it's free.

8. Waco-- Not a popular point, I know, but have you driven in Austin or Houston during rush hour? It's impossible. Waco has none of the traffic problems of a large city, but is close enough to Dallas and Austin that students can enjoy stuff going on in either city. Besides that, it's completely overrun by other students, so businesses cater to us. When you go to Wendy's, you can pay with your student ID.

9. Friends -- Most students, at Baylor anyway, are around the same age, the same intellectual level and have similar backgrounds. When things happen, they can relate to each other easily. This lack of diversity can be dangerous in that it may cause close-mindedness, but it may also lead to life-long friendships and further understanding of a person's identity.

10.Opportunity -- Sometimes when people ask me the dreaded question of what I plan on doing after graduation, they sigh and say how nice it must be to not be tied in to a career that's going nowhere, to be starting fresh with so many different opportunities. While in college, students are encouraged to be whatever they desire. There may be pressure from parents, but most students can take their pick of a career. It may seem overwhelming, but is also liberating.

And so, with these in mind, I'm trying to enjoy my last few months as a student, experiencing all of the 'lasts,' last first day of classes, last spring break and last Diadeloso. For those of you who have time, don't go through your college years without realizing what you have.