As the semester winds down to a close, the auras of reflection, introspection and nostalgia reign prominent amongst the graduating seniors. The end of our last semester at Mines comes with the emotional gravitas of closing one chapter and turning the page to the next one
There is the fundamental desire to continue the pursuit of aspirations and goals, but also the realization that the next stage involves the absence of many that we have come to hold dear throughout our career at Mines. For the first time in a long time the social dynamic that we have become accustomed to is going to shift dramatically from a familiar college habitat to a potentially all new workplace setting. Part of transitioning to the next stage of life involves appreciating the support of those around you for the last few years and understanding that the friends made in college will remain with you for the rest of your life.
During freshman year the majority of friends made will be from similar core subjects, such as Chemistry, Calculus and Physics, or from residence halls. These friends play a quintessential role in helping one adjust between high school and college. This friend group will face the early struggles of balancing independence, and academics. From my personal experience I owe it to my first year friends for making me feel part of this amazing community, as we braved the flurry of Lon-Capa red boxes together. Your freshman year friends will be those who you see on a daily basis and grow alongside.
Sophomore year often brings changes in the dynamic of friend groups. The majority of students have transitioned from residence halls to off campus living, Greek life, or Mines Park, and begin to enroll in more major specific classes. Thus it is likely that you may no longer see your acquaintances in former core classes or residence floors, but may instead spend more time with peers in your major. This is not necessarily a sign of growing apart, it simply comes from the understanding that time becomes more and more limited as you progress through your academic career. Continued involvement in extracurricular activities, academics and campus departments will largely dictate who you spend your time with, and as a result new relationships will emerge and flourish.
It is often argued that mutual struggles can help strengthen friendships, and junior year here is evidence of that. Major specific classes begin to heat up and credit hour loads are at an all time high whilst sleep is an all time low.
For the Petroleum class of 2016 it can almost unanimously be pinpointed to PEGN 419 as the source of overbearing stress, but my tight knit group in my major helped me pull through. There may likely be one or several factors that toughen up the semester, but facing it side by side will not only make the task more bearable but also provide a sense of accomplishment once the year is over.
The nostalgia hits like a tsunami during senior year. Friendships developed in previous years will strengthen or even rekindle for the “band’s last gig”. In the spirit of appreciation, I would like to personally thank all of my friends throughout these last four years. Thank you for every enlightened conversation, shared laugh, benevolent car ride, amazing adventure, selfless gesture, late night study session, split dinner, homework assistance, heartfelt moment, reality check, geeky instance, encouraging compliment, Broncos victory celebration, awkward selfie, and inspirational life lesson. We will engineer the future like we were always meant to: together.
Photo by Karan Titus.