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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 21, 2023

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Making a lasting difference while in college

If I made a playlist to describe my feelings about graduation, here are the top five songs I’d play:

“I Was Here” by Lady Antebellum

“Hall of Fame” by The Script and Will.I.Am

“Legacy” by Nichole Nordeman

“Go the Distance” from Hercules

“World’s Greatest” by R. Kelly

This seems like an interesting combination of songs (who puts Hercules on the same playlist as R. Kelly?), but they all share a common theme: being your best and leaving a legacy.

As a graduating senior, I can’t help but wonder if I impacted anyone’s life by attending the University. This is a thought with which many seniors grapple—“did my four years even make a difference? Is anyone going to remember me?”

Eric Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development greatly summarize our time in college. If you aren’t familiar with Erikson’s theories, I encourage you to check them out. His final two stages of psychosocial development are what I really want to focus on here because they can be adapted to college life.

The first is generativity versus stagnation—did I help younger students gain new skills to become successful? As a student leader, have I fostered development for next year’s leaders, or did I simply sit back and remain minimally involved? And with ego integrity versus despair, did I get the most out of my time in college, or do I regret not doing more with my organizations or friends?

Lady Antebellem recorded “I Was Here” for a compilation CD for the 2008 Olympics, and the lyrics send a powerful message about leaving your mark:

“I wanna do something that matters, say something different, something that sets the whole world on its ear. I wanna do something better with the time I’ve been given. I wanna try to touch a few hearts in this life, and leave nothing less than something that says, ‘I was here.’”

Founders Hall resident advisors adopted this as their theme song, and you can see it on YouTube (yes, this is a shameless plug). The music video visualizes what it means to make a difference and how easy it is to do on our campus. I encourage you to check it out!

Are you leaving a legacy?

If you’re wondering how it’s even possible to make a difference, allow me to use a few examples from my life.

As Executive Producer of BG on TV, I helped media students learn to produce videos for a television show. Did I consequently help someone realize their call to TV? Did I help someone learn the skills they need to land a job or internship?

As a subject tutor at the Learning Commons, did I help someone enough to pass a class? Did my passion for learning rub off on them, and did they earn a scholarship as a result? Did they stay in school because of my help?

And as a resident advisor, did I help encourage a resident to stay away from a bad situation? Did my openness and compassion give them the courage to endure a crisis? Did my late-night talks and shoulder to cry on keep someone from taking their own life?

Whether you have seven semesters left or only one, you still have the chance to make a difference. When looking back at people who influenced my life, I think of people like Craig and Chelsea from freshman year, who were with me through all our telecommunications classes and pushed me to be competitive.

And then I think of people like Air Force ROTC cadets Neace, Fagan and Hughes, whom I didn’t befriend until this semester. And you grow incredibly close to co-workers, like Chelsea and Brittney, who are like sisters to me now, even after only one year.

Don’t ever think you’re too far along in college to make new friends, join new organizations, or try a new hobby. You never know who you’re going to impact. Though that sounds incredibly cliché, I really mean it. You can be the difference in someone’s life. And you can leave a mark.

With only a few days left until commencement, I’m keeping this playlist in mind. My hope is that the time I spent in Residence Life, telecommunications and around campus left “nothing less than something that says, ‘I was here.’”

Respond to Debbie at

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