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Four Years at the Mount

Senior Year

So…It’s my Senior year…

Sarah Muir
MSM Class of 2018

(9/2017) As I have been informed by numerous persons, it’s my senior year of college. It is funny how many people start off nearly every conversation with, "So…it’s your Senior year…" and I am left to give an awkward drawn out confirmation coupled with a small presentation of what I plan to do with the next few decades of my life. Senior year, I have been told, is the odd combination of fun and arduous work. It’s the culmination of one’s formal education, a year filled with projects, papers, and internships to prove that one is ready and able to join the throngs of the adult working society. Perhaps I have made this sound a bit too cynical and if I did, know that it was not my intention. To be entirely frank, I feel a bit how I felt as a Freshman; nervous, excited, and a bit anxious. However, I do not feel entirely unprepared and that is entirely because of my education and experiences I have had here at Mount Saint Mary’s University.

Four years ago, I accepted to begin prepare for my future here at the Mount. I began as an undecided major, oscillating between History and English. I was seventeen, shy and a bit awkward (traits I haven’t, nor will I ever, fully shake off). Yet, with all my apprehensions and "what ifs," things worked out better than I thought. In the first couple of months I fell, quite accidentally, into a job at a local newspaper because I told a girl named Lydia that I enjoyed writing, she remembered, and I was introduced into the Emmitsburg News-Journal. Now, four years later I am managing editor, which I had never expected to be. My first year of classes was wonderful, then again, I have always had a want for learning, a desire to know whatever there was for me to know. With the Liberal Arts education I have received the world has been brought closer to me, opened up, and I have been granted access to study it further with the tools I have received through my education.

I admit I complained a great deal when, after fourteen years of formal Catholic education, I found religion classes were still a "thing" in college. Nevertheless, every theology and ethics course that I moaned and groaned about has made me a more thoughtful individual. Now, by "thoughtful" I do not mean "sharing is caring" or saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ (though you should do both). Rather, I have become more aware of the world around me and my place in it. More importantly, I have a deeper connection to God and my faith than ever before.

Since we have touched upon faith, the added benefit and one of the main reasons why I chose the Mount in the first place, was because it had the proper conditions to cultivate spiritual growth. My faith has always been important to me. At the Mount the Catholic faith and tradition is such an integral part of the community and I was able to thrive in my faith and reach a deeper understanding and love for God.

As far as my major is concerned, I fear I love English now more than I ever have. The professors I have met, whose courses I have taken, are filled with such an unbridled enthusiasm that it is positively infectious. Even the subjects I did not much care for were redeemed by the professors. It is inexplicitly wonderful to see people so passionate and knowledgeable about the subjects they teach especially in my own area of interest. To see a love for language and literature, especially in a world that seems to be forgetting their importance is comforting. Some people seem to forget that to be an English major is not just about books, but it is a recognition of how an individual can change some parts of the world, for good or ill, with a command of words.

It is a bit bittersweet, this final year at the Mount, and I find that as the year begins I am already a bit homesick at the prospect of leaving. The Mount is a wonderful university and I am fortunate to be a part of her noble history. This brings into my mind a quote by Albert Einstein, "The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think," and with my senior year at the Mount beginning I find myself agreeing with him. I have been fortunate enough to receive a phenomenal education here; lessons and knowledge that will serve me long after I walk across the stage and accept my diploma. I have learned to think and process the world around me through a multi-faceted lens all thanks to a liberal arts education and the professors that have served the Mount Saint Mary’s community.

Though I’ll be busy this year with internships, my studies and a few part-time jobs I know that all these things work towards a good future. I am unsure where my future is going or where my education will bring me, but I am happy to have had this time at the Mount, learning and growing and taking advantage of what they have offered to me. Throughout these four years at the mount, I have found it stunning how much can change and at the same time comforted that the particulars stay the same. I still love what I do, still strive and struggle to do it well. I am eager for this year’s challenges and struggles and interested to see how I adapt and overcome whatever comes my way and see how much growing I still have to do. So, yes, it is my senior year and I am nervous about what lies ahead, nevertheless, I am looking forward to it.

Read other articles by Sarah Muir