After giving myself a week to process graduation, I must still admit that there is much processing left to do. I don’t know when the side effects of graduating will truly hit me, but that time will come. I’m sure of it. Rather than mourning the loss of college in my life, I’ve been spending my time reminiscing and remembering. I apologize in advance for the many cliches that I am about to utter throughout the entirety of this post- if anything, I’ve learned that much of what those tell you to expect of college is in fact true. This is no doubt a sad time in my life -I can’t imagine spending my last four years anywhere else- however, this is an exciting time as well. I changed a lot in college and am as a result much less apprehensive about the next chapter of my life. I’m incomprehensibly excited about what’s to come.
Now. I’m not here to tell you that your college experience (or the alike) was any less because you didn’t go to Miami. For me, I’m not sure any other place could have satisfied my specific interests and my psychological identity as perfectly as Miami did. It all started in the halls of Emerson Hall my freshman year. It was here that I began to build my identity in the oh-so foreign land of Oxford, Ohio. Admittedly, I was painfully shy in such a lively, friendly hall.. however, I like to think that it was Emerson and its great people that led me to jump out of my shell in my later years. It was also during my freshman year that I made one of the best decisions of my college career- I joined the Miami Men’s Glee Club. During my 4 year tenure with the Glee Club, I met many life-long “brothers”, I traveled eight European countries, led a 12-day tour of Florida and connected through song with thousands. If you’ve ever talked to me about my college experience, I can about guarantee that I’ve mentioned the Glee Club. From watching ‘Alaska State Troopers’ with my roommate for hours on end to stuffing my face at Harris Dinning Hall nightly to studying late into the night as dorm escapades ensued, my freshman year was so satisfyingly stereotypical. My first year set the foundation for the better days to come.
My sophomore and junior years were a blur. It seems as if they ran together and very much built on one another. With this being said, I do have many fond memories from these years. With an increased courseload along with many new responsibilities, my addiction coffee finally entered the scene (you’re welcome, Kofenya). Another addiction also entered the scene: hockey. I can say with much pride that I attended nearly every home hockey game at Miami’s Goggin Arena since my sophomore year. I can’t say the same about my football attendance however (after all, we did lose every game my sophomore year). Oh and about those new responsibilities.. this was where I finally introduced theater back into my life. Thanks to the encouragement of fellow clubber, Sean Mormino, I joined Stage Left Theater- the student-led theater org on campus. After I fell in love with the group, I ended up on the executive board as secretary and email extraordinaire. During these two years, I lived with former Emerson neighbor, Nick Contini. Nick and I had many great memories during our time spent on and off-campus. Our joint adoration for dining hall nachos, the many talents of Louis CK and weird (many times unwarranted) behavior lent itself to some great times. From my first apartment to my first car to my first.. I’ll save you some reading.. I really grew up during these middle years.
The summer of my junior year truly stood on its own. It was here that I first exposed to the wonderful word of advertising. I interned at TrendyMinds, an agency based in Indianapolis, for three months. Here I learned all there is to know about the industry and spent many great afternoons grilling on the office rooftop and sipping on local craft brews. After I left TrendyMinds, I attended Chicago Ad Week- an immersive program all about advertising sponsored by the marketing department. During this fast-paced program, I visited many leading agencies, networked with industry leaders and contributed to an awesome group project. After this summer, I knew the advertising life was for me.
Senior year. Wow. What a year. With my freshman-esque schedule back in play, I was able to focus on my extracurriculars. I directed ‘Rumors’ (a Neil Simon comedy) for Stage Left, led the Glee Club winter tour to Florida, took on two advantageous capstone projects, contributed to an awesome ad campaign pitch for Snapple and spent plenty of time ‘studying’ uptown. I just get the jitters thinking about it (TG for coffee). Regardless, I don’t regret it one bit. I was given many bucket list opportunities my senior year- opportunities I wouldn’t have traded for anything. It was during this past year that I was able to relive many cherished college memories for the last time.
I still can’t believe that I’m now an ALUM of Miami University. It feels like just yesterday I was moving away from home for the first time. If at any time while reading you felt as if I was rambling, I probably was and I apologize for this. It just felt necessary for me to share my life-changing experience. If you read this post, I’m sure you have played a significant role in my life and I thank you for that. Without you, I likely wouldn’t be where I am today. Really. I mean it 100%.
With love and honor,