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All that you cannot leave behind

Almost every fourth year probably has made The List, an abbreviated name for The List of Things I Must Do Before I Graduate. The list of traditions you still need to try out, activities you still need to attempt and various other things you swore you would do before your college career is over.

Completing The List is something I've been trying to do for some time now. Graduation is less than five weeks away - time is running out. Friends, it is time to do all those things you always said you would. Or at least that's what a lot of people will tell you.

I'm not going to claim that I've already done everything I wanted. I haven't. But I don't think anyone has.

I have never streaked the Lawn, and I probably never will. The idea of my naked booty running by all those rooms with the potential of arrest, horrendous embarrassment, or both, has kept me fully clothed for the last four years. In honor of tradition, I wish I could bring myself to do it. The chances of my actually doing this, however, are slim to none.

And shockingly, I have never, ever worked out at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. Not even once. No elliptical machines, no treadmills, no weights, nothing. I have gone a few times to buy smoothies, but that's all. (Perhaps there is a correlation between my lack of working out and my failure to streak the Lawn.)

But more important than the things I've never done (if I haven't done them by this point, I probably didn't really want to do them that much anyway) are the things I didn't do enough of while I was here.

I didn't meet enough of my professors. In my first year, I was frightened to approach those scary figures at the bottom of the huge lecture halls. Later on, I was too busy or too lazy to go to office hours or approach them after class. Despite this, I did manage to get to know a few of them, and they are some of the most interesting people I've ever met. I'm disappointed that I missed out on the opportunity to learn more from these individuals.

I didn't take enough of the good advice people offered me. Completely convinced that I could do everything myself, I didn't listen enough to my friends or my parents when they suggested that I might want to try something other than what I had my heart set on. Stubbornness, to a degree, is a good thing. But in excess, it makes you view life with tunnel vision.

I didn't spend enough time outdoors. Charlottesville is a very beautiful place, and I didn't take advantage of it. Of course, since I really dislike bugs and burn within 15 minutes of stepping under the harsh rays of the sun, this isn't something I've really been trying to do. But I probably should have.

So there are things I've never done, and things I haven't done enough of. Lots of people run around at the end of their collegiate careers talking about having no regrets, making sure they have a full experience, crossing every item off The List.

But even more important than checking off every tradition is continuing to do the things you've always loved to do - whatever it was you were doing when you weren't doing all those other things.

Dwelling on what didn't happen during your time here is not going to make your remaining days any more fulfilling.

So instead, I will keep doing the things I've always done - sending too many e-mails, eating on the Corner, hanging out with my friends, reading and other nondescript activities.

Maybe I won't ever really complete every University tradition - there is no way a Gusburger is ever entering my body - but I'll take away an experience I will always remember.


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