So this is it. For most students at Fordham, this time of year marks the beginning of the end: We just have to complete final exams and then we are free to enjoy nearly a month away from academic endeavors.
For some students at Fordham, this is the beginning of the end of their careers here, and I wish them the best of luck. For the musically inclined on our campus, this week marks the culmination of a semester or more of work dedicated to honing and perfecting their craft. (This obviously is not a shameless plug for the b-Sides and University Choir concerts happening this week.) For me, this week also marks the end of a major part of my tenure as a Fordham student: after two years of writing, this will be my last piece as a columnist for The Fordham Ram.
I would like to briefly take the opportunity to thank the Academy: Thank you Ricky Bordelon for first suggesting those opinion pieces for The Ram. A huge thank you to Katie Nolan and the copy editing staff as a whole, who are responsible for minimizing the impact of the sometimes embarrassing grammatical mistakes in my submissions. I hope, Katie, that future columnists are better at submitting their pieces early. Sorry, one last time. I would like to thank all of the friends who I have coerced into reading over my columns prior to the deadline for submission. I give my deepest gratitude to the person responsible for rejecting my original proposed column title, “Classy Musings,” and a fond farewell to the entire staff of The Fordham Ram.
In contemplating the main topic of my last column for The Fordham Ram, I remembered a column I wrote last spring about the greatest lesson I have learned at Fordham (“Examine Your Conscience”) (The Fordham Ram, V. 95, i. 8). If I were to offer a single piece of advice to a college student, it would be to regularly reflect on what you are doing and why you are doing it.
It may sound simple, but I was surprised by how often I didn’t consider the implications of my own actions. Are you satisfied with the overarching purpose that drives your daily actions? Does the way you behave on a regular basis help you to achieve your goals, both professional and personal? Does your behavior reflect what you value? By dedicating the necessary time to reflect and taking steps to alter behavior based on your increased self-awareness, you will be combatting cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy, which will result in long term happiness. You will find it easier to make decisions if you regularly attempt to ensure that your actions reflect what you value the most.
I hope that someone reading this column has been provoked to quest for greater depth and maybe even cracked a smile once in a while. That is all I can ask. Thank you, readers, for the gift of your time and consideration. A.M.D.G.