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Four Years at the Mount - Senior Year

Senior Year

Thank You

Julia Mulqueen

(5/2012) I am sitting in my room at the Mount. The sun is shining brilliantly in the sky. The grass is lush; leaves are gently rustling in the breeze. I cannot help but feel a little blue as I write this, my last article for the "Senior Year" column. It was just two years ago that I sent Michael Hillman a letter that landed me this job. It was just three years ago that I completed my freshman year at the Mount, and it was just four years ago that I visited the Mount to check out the ROTC program. Where has this time gone? How did it slip through my fingers? When this article goes to press, I will have just 12 days left here at Mount Saint Maryís.

So with this article, I will glance back over my past fours years. I came to the Mount in August of 2008 with my parents and more stuff than any 17-year-old needs. They helped me move in and drove away-my mother with tears in her eyes. I loved my college classes, and I loved meeting so many new people. During the fall, I had to write a piece about myself for freshman seminar. I had just gone to our Commanderís Introduction lab for ROTC. Sitting straight and tall but feeling nervous, I watched as the Cadet Battalion Commander introduced himself. When I returned to campus to finish writing my paper for freshman seminar, I included a new goal of mine: to become the Battalion Commander when I became a senior.

My first semester flew by; soon it was springtime at the Mount. I could barely focus on my studies. Every day was a new opportunity to explore the mountain, study in the sun, or just relax with my friends. I feared the approach of summer, because I knew I would miss the Mount and all of the people I had met terribly.

Summer proved to be a nice time to relax with my family and catch up on the sleep I had missed during my first two semesters. Little did I know when I returned to the Mount in the fall of 2009 that exciting changes would come my way. For my first three semesters at the Mount, I had been a biology major in the hopes of eventually going to medical school. My sophomore philosophy class completely changed my mind. After reading Aquinas and Augustine, I realized that I no longer wanted to be a trauma surgeon; I wanted to be a Theologian. Two days before the end of add-drop week, I changed every single one of my courses. I had already taken one German course, so I decided I could fit another in for my spring semester and become a double major in Theology and German. I also signed up for a month abroad in Salzburg, Austria.

The summer in Austria proved to be extraordinary, and I soon returned to the Mount for the third time. The thought of my junior year made my stomach churn; I knew that in just a few short months I would fly to Fort Lewis for the ultimate test of my Army prowess. The year was difficult. I was carrying a heavy course load: 21 credits, and I felt continuous pressure from myself to do well. In case it has not been evident in my articles up to this point, I am a little bit neurotic about everything I do. I constantly try to better myself, but sometimes this leads to me burning myself out. So by the time finals week of my junior year rolled around, my brain felt like a mass of soggy bread sitting in my skull. The summer sun washed over me, but I continued to worry about going to Fort Lewis. That month was the most difficult, but most rewarding, month of my life. I wrote about it earlier this year in a series called "Conquering LDAC."

Soon, it was time for my fourth and last trip back to Mount Saint Maryís. I loaded up my new MINI Cooper and set off. Life was calm; my senior year had finally arrived. When I reached Emmitsburg, my phone rang. It was our Professor of Military Science calling to tell me I would be the Battalion Commander for the year. My face broke into a giant smile; I had reached my goal.

And now, as commissioning and graduation quickly approach, I realize I will soon reach two more goals. More importantly, I realize now that I can do nothing on my own. The only reason that I have been so successful in college and ROTC is that I have had a wealth of amazing supporters around me. I have a team of fans who have consistently helped me on this journey through school. So with this, my last article, I want to say thank you. Thank you for everything.

Read other articles by Julia Mulqueen