The final countdown

So here it is: my final column, my last hurrah before I walk across that makeshift stage at Wells Fargo Arena and bid Arizona farewell. It seems surreal.

Have four years passed since I ate my first Chuckbox burger, took my first communal-bathroom shower and attended my first frat party? Has it really been so long since orientation, PHI 101 and getting lost in Hayden library? (Well, actually, that still happens)

I think it’s time for a little reflection.

For my fellow graduates, perhaps this will provide a nostalgic reminder of the years gone by for you, too. And for the youngsters among you, here’s a list of the things you need to be sure to do before graduation:

Attend a guest lecture. In a school as big as ASU, it can be hard to find classes with active discussion, but in these lectures given by experts in a wide variety of fields, there’s always a lively debate that erupts during the Q&A. If you ever wanted to ask Richard Dawkins why he invented memes, these guest lectures are the perfect forum.

Go to the Art Museum. It’s a cheap date, an interesting way to waste time between classes and an excuse to wear glasses while walking around pretentiously saying, “Hmmm.” Enough said.

Eat at Phoenecia Café. Right next to the mosque on the north end of campus and just south of University Towers, this small grill has the best hummus you’ll find anywhere in a 5-mile radius around campus. It’s an easily walkable distance from anywhere on the Tempe campus for a quick, cheap lunch.

Take a class outside your major. And I don’t just mean taking a philosophy class if you’re a political science major. Take something as far outside your comfort zone as you can —calculus if you’re an English major or botany if you study history. It will activate a neglected part of your brain, supply cool facts to bring up at parties and, hopefully, make you appreciate how much you love your major — or inspire you to change it.

And, finally, take a moment every once in a while to pause and be grateful. You’re getting an education that most of the world only dreams about, and you have more opportunities (even if they aren’t always apparent) than you could ever exhaust. Be thankful and remember why you’re here in the first place: To learn, to grow intellectually and emotionally, to mature and to emerge a better-rounded person.

Oh, and don’t forget to have a kick-ass time too.

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