By Joe Burns ’17
I guess it’s finally starting to set in. With the last football game, putting a down payment on the senior trip to the Bahamas and finishing up my final General Business class has come the realization that I actually have to leave this place. As a freshman, four years seemed like an eternity, eight long semesters ahead of me seemed like an insurmountable climb. Well, here I am. Senior Year.
Four years ago, I came to Bentley a shy freshman from five hours away in New York, not knowing a single person. Like so many college students, it was my first time really being on my own. There was definitely an adjustment period for me. The summer before I came here, my parents tried to tell me all of the things I would have to do for myself but apparently those conversations were all in one ear and out the other. How hard could it be?
Life Lessons Learned
It took a few ruined loads and a couple of long conversations on the phone with my Mom to get the laundry thing down. I quickly realized that eating pizza for breakfast is only cool for so long. I learned how dangerously easy it can be to hit snooze on the alarm in the morning. I was enthralled with the idea of wearing sweatpants after going to private school with a strict dress code my whole life. The biggest adjustment for me was realizing that there is no one at college to hold your hand through anything. Professors lay out the work but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to remember the dates and complete it. (Some kind of transition line).
For me, it was all about finding a routine. With so much freedom and so many new people around, it can be tempting to “hang out” a little too much. I found a lot of comfort in my routine as I was getting the hang of college. Some iteration of class, gym, homework and time with my friends is how I structure my days.
I look at all of the small skills I’ve picked up in my time at college. They were the things I overlooked coming in. I’m even starting to get this cooking thing down. Okay, well maybe I’ve had one incident with the fire alarm. I’ll maintain that it wasn’t even that smoky. The little things are some of the most important, to be carried throughout a lifetime.
Discovering a Second Family
I remember on my first visit to Bentley, the tour guide told us all how close we would become with our friends in college. They would become our best friends for life. I remember being offended at the insinuation. I love my friends from high school. I never thought I could form a second family with a bunch of Patriots-crazed guys from Massachusetts. Here we are, we’ve lived together since sophomore year, and we’ve managed to avoid killing each other even after debating if LeBron is the best ever. We’re brothers, and that is what I’m most grateful to Bentley for giving me.
As a freshman, I knew I would get a well-rounded business education. I knew that I would have several internships and be in a great position to land a job upon graduation. I never thought I would become a conversation partner, helping a Chinese graduate student sharpen his English. I never thought I would play intramural basketball against someone who played on the Indonesian National Team. It’s the things that I never expected that have really made my college experience so incredible.
Joe Burns is a senior Marketing major from Syracuse, New York.