Because of my experiences over the last four years, I am walking away with an incredible sense of gratitude. I am grateful for our faculty and staff, our alumni, our parents and our friends of the university. Each of these groups of people give so much of their own time and resources to ensure that we as students have the best possible experience while we are here. If you’re not involved on campus, get involved. If you are involved, stay involved. You’re going to get out of TCU what you put into it, and trust me, you’ll be more grateful of your experience in the end if you give more of yourself while you’re here.
It would be easy to tie up my TCU experience with a neat little bow by recounting my summers on Orientation and Frog Camp staffs, when I directed Howdy Week or the year I served as student body president. But the last four years have been about so much more than the activities and organizations. I won’t remember much about the 12-hour days I spent in meeting after meeting, but I will remember the small, fleeting moments when I knew I was truly helping an individual student or our student body as a whole. I will remember the relationships I have formed with friends and professors that have helped me through making my toughest decisions and enduring the hardest days.
If I could give an underclassman advice, it would be to practice gratitude more often. Drop your millennial sense of entitlement and remember that we are at TCU and in college because of the grace of others. All too often we believe that we deserve things – whether it’s a high grade, a leadership position, a job, a car or that precious send-home purchase from the bookstore. News flash: we don’t. As cliche as this may sound, hard work, and yes, sometimes failure, makes us stronger. I wish we didn’t expect what we want to simply fall into our laps. Practicing gratitude usually does not happen naturally and is something that requires our attention every day. Give gratitude the attention it deserves by practicing it routinely.
Would I change anything about my TCU experience? Not a chance. Everything that has happened over the last four years – the good, the bad and the ugly – has all created the experience I am walking away with, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world.
Kelsie Johnson is a senior strategic communication major from Fort Worth.