It happened so quickly. One moment you’re waiting in line to get your picture taken for a college ID card, and then just like that senior year’s about to begin. Where did the last three years go? You try to remember each moment. I remember the trips to Nashville, Raleigh, Atlantic City, Richmond, Manchester, Manhattan and Buffalo. I remember 2nd Fal. You remember meeting people for the first time. Not knowing if this person was going to be your best friend, or just another person who went to Bonaventure. You remember your first class. You remember the nerves settling inside as you handed in your first paper. You remember that first time you knew that this school was the right place for you. Maybe it was meeting your best friend. Maybe it was going to your first basketball game. Maybe it was something completely different. The bond you shared with your floor, or the first time you went to a party. You remember Matt Kane and Sam Limata’s snake, or Lance Hardy yelling in the middle of the afternoon when word spread that a tarantula had been on the floor. You remember Matt Maiorca breaking the glass door in the Quick Center, or every single time Fredo did something absurd. Second Fal gave us way too many memorable moments. Connor reading “The Cat in the Hat” to Pat Fernandez. Wondering each night if someone would pull the fire alarm, again. Graffiti written on the walls. Having meeting after meeting with RA’s discussing how immature 2nd Fal had been. We did some wild things. I miss those times. Pulling all nighters. Being young and stupid. Freshman year was the beginning. We all knew nothing would ever be the same. Sure, friendships grew deeper, but the initial spark took place in Second Fal. Late nights in the lobby. Pulling pranks. Getting drunk. We found out that 15 dudes rolling together won’t get you into any college party. Things changed after freshman year. People moved off-campus or to apartments. Others moved to suites. Some went over to Dev. I don’t need to bore you any longer with inside jokes about sophomore and junior years. You get the point.
What does Bonaventure mean? This small school where everybody knows your name. It’s true. Everybody knows everybody. That can be good. It also can be bad. The good, however, far outweighs the bad. The bond here is as strong as any other college’s bond between students. The people make this place special, and also the opportunities. Being able to travel to Atlantic City, Manhattan, Raleigh, Nashville, Richmond and Manchester to cover basketball games or a freaking music festival doesn’t happen at every school. Sure, those opportunities can happen, but at Bonaventure these opportunities are more likely because of its size.
I’ve made these friends at Bonaventure. These friends that have changed my entire life. Friends who I’ve lived with for three years. Friends who I’ve drank with on weekends. Friends who I’ve fought with during disagreements. Friends who I’ve played basketball with each week. Friends who I’ve played hours and hours of videos game with just for fun. I don’t consider the hours and hours I spent with my friends where I could have been studying, or reading wasted because I’ll remember those times no matter what I do with my degree.
I learned about communication at school. I learned how to write a lede, about AP style and interviewing. I learned all about advertising, and working within a team. I learned about operating a newspaper and editing. I learned about working a blog and how to be a professional. I learned about music, radio programming and being a DJ. The learning doesn’t end after three years, as I have a 18 credits to take during the fall semester, including five journalism courses. But even after I take the rest of my journalism classes, and finish my capstone next spring, the most important thing I’ve learned has been about friendship.
College is a gigantic investment. It’s expensive. St. Bonaventure is no exception. Everything I learned about communication, journalism, public relations and the radio will be important as I move on to a professional career. But the memories I made, and the bonds I shared will be what I will carry with me much longer than anything I learned in the classroom. It’s important to use what you learned in the classroom, and apply it in the real world. But it’s also important to use what you learned about yourself while dealing with your friends and relationships, and apply those lessons to your life.
People chose to go to Bonaventure for a number of reasons. I picked Bonaventure because I wanted to get out of eastern Pennsylvania, and also because I wanted to major in journalism. Some chose Bonaventure because he or she is a legacy. Some chose because it’s close to home. Some chose because of a specific major Bonaventure offers. It’s not how we got to Bonaventure, but it’s just that we are here. We seniors have two semesters before we leave for good. We will all go on to bigger and better things. We will have jobs and move away from home. We will get married, and have children. We will grow up. But no matter what we do, or where we go, we will always remember the Bonaventure home.