By Ebona Mais
Like many other Brooklyn college students, I’m nearing my end at the historic CUNY undergraduate school. In my time here I’ve learned a lot more than what I’ve studied in textbooks, and I’ve been tested on subjects that are way harder than anything I’ve seen on a final.
I’ve been stressed, excited, bored, worried and hopeful. I’ve consumed more caffeine than previously thought possible and I’ve had more crushes and flings than I’d like to admit. I adapted to my environment. I casually look up in the winter for falling snow, I instinctively find shady spots in the summer, I take the Ingersoll underpass on rainy days and I avoid crowds in the fall.
Brooklyn College has been the site of nearly every relationship I’ve had in the past few years. I have all the school offices on speed dial, I visit the campus advisors more than my grandparents and I schedule social dates around assignment due dates.
But I’m no special case. I’m not the only student who falls asleep in the library during finals week and waits until the end of the semester to talk with their professor. At least once, I’ve been every college stereotype. And now that I near the end of the educational awaking, I feel nostalgic about things.
This school has taught me to experience life differently, to be patient with the unknown and understanding with the misunderstood, to be proud of every accomplishment and to never downgrade the worth of an individual or an institution.
I came to Brooklyn College at the counsel of two high school professors that attended the “poor man’s Harvard” in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Their exact words were, “I think you would do good there.” After my first year I had told them both I didn’t really like the school, it was only okay in my eyes. I complained about everything from the long commute to the crowded cafeteria. It was easy finding fault in everything that was new or uncommon to me and it was ALL new. But, I stuck with it and I haven’t regretted a day here.
I’ve invited them both to my graduation this summer, proud that the people that inspired me will get to see where their advice has led me. We now share our experiences at Brooklyn College and compare whose was best. They ask me what I’ll remember most, what moment or professor, course or classmate will resonate with me in the coming years. I guess if I had one answer to that question it would be: I’ll always remember the friends, students and faculty that believed in me when I didn’t.
They checked in on me and listened to my problems. They questioned my excuses and pushed me to do better work when I had done my best. The friends that helped me with homework during their free time and the professors that extended due dates when I couldn’t handle the workload are what I’ll look back on. I’ll remember them, for much being much kinder and understanding than necessary.
If you’re a senior (graduating in the spring or fall 2015) and you would like to do a piece stating what you will remember most about Brooklyn College after you graduate, send it in. I know the Brooklyn College community would love your hear your stories.