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Four Years at the Mount - Senior Year

Senior Year: The Best Year Yet

Julia Mulqueen

(9/2011) Just a few days ago, a handful of cadets from the Mountís ROTC battalion offered five hours of their Sunday to help move in the incoming freshmen. Boxes, backpacks, and stuffed animals abounded. As I helped my fellow cadets move in the newest students of the Mount, I could not help but reminiscence about my own time as a freshmen. I remember coming to Mount Saint Maryís on a sunny day in August just three years ago with my parentsí green truck packed full of everything I thought I would need for my freshman year. The entire two-hour drive from Pennsylvania to Maryland consisted of me sitting in the backseat feeling like my stomach was doing somersaults inside of me. I was so very excited to finally experience college, but I was so very nervous to leave my parents for the first time. I was wondering if I would be able to balance classes, friends, and ROTC. I was nervous that I would struggle academically or that my professors would terrify me. I even worried that maybe I would join the ranks of people who had roommate horror stories.

When we finally made it to Mount Saint Maryís, I saw smiling face after smiling face. Everyone was so friendly and seemed to truly enjoy the Mount. Once we parked outside of my dorm, those smiling-faced peer mentors swarmed my car and helped me move into my new room almost instantly. My new roommate was already in our room unpacking with her mom and her aunt. When I saw her smiling face, my stomach finally settled. We were instant friends. It was as if we had known each other our entire lives. We clicked, and I knew it was going to be a great year.

Indeed it was a great year. I met so many new and exciting people; I met people that I will be friends with for countless years to come. My courses and professors challenged me constantly, and through their challenges, I was able to grow almost exponentially as a student. Of course, ROTC at the Mount has been such a great experience, too. I had never imagined that I would be capable of rappelling off of a platform that was higher than the trees or that I could run for miles and still hunger to run more.

My first year went by so fast, though. I remember a senior telling me my freshman year that each year at the Mount seemed to go by faster and faster. I did not believe that that could be true. Four years seemed like such a long time to me, but that senior was right. The time did fly. When I think about the fact that I am finally a senior myself, I am almost shocked. I still feel like that bright-eyed freshman moving into her new dorm.

And yet, I know that I have learned so much here in just three short years. I have learned that we are all truly talented and unique people. I have learned that when we work together, we can produce things that are truly beautiful. My experiences here at the Mount have taught me so much, and I am sure I will continue to learn more in this my final year at the Mount.

Truly it seems to me that every moment of my academic life has been focused upon this final year of my degree. Every minute I have spent in a classroom, every sentence I have written for a paper, every detail I have learned from my professors, it has all come together to bring me to this last year of college. It feels rather surreal to look at the top of this article and see the words "Senior Year." I cannot believe that I have made it to my last year of college!

I must admit, however, that while I am excited to be a senior, I am also rather nervous about the path that lies ahead of me once I walk across the stage at graduation. Because of the competition of my summer training and assessment in Ft. Lewis, Washington this past summer, I will be commissioned as an Army Officer once I graduate. I am so excited to be an officer, but I do not feel quite ready to begin my career. It is a little nerve-racking to think of myself living completely on my own, having to take care of bills, payments, insurance, and all of the other things that my parents have always done for me in the past.

I feel as if I still have so much to learn about what it means to be an adult, and yet it seems to me that my fears about whether or not I will be able to live on my own are simply fears. These past three years at the Mount have already helped me to grow from a child into an adult. Through my experiences here, I have learned what it means to be a responsible citizen, and I am sure that the experiences of my senior year of college will teach me even more about how to live as an adult. So while I may feel fear about paying bills and cooking my own food, I truly know that my life after the Mount is going to be just fine. I know this because I know that the Mount has put everything into my growth both academically and emotionally. Yes, my life after college will be just fine, and my senior year at the Mount will be my best yet. I just know it.

Julia is a senior German and Theology double major.

Read other articles by Julia Mulqueen