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It seems like just yesterday, I was a tiny, nervous wreck of a freshman moving into my dorm and anxious about what to expect about college life. Flash forward 4 years, most of which included a global pandemic, and I’m suddenly a senior with ambitions already for after graduation. Where has the time gone?

Like every other year of my academic career, high school included, I had a minor panic the night before classes officially started, fearful of what my classes might entail. It had been a year and a half of remote learning prior, so this would also be my first time back on campus for in-person learning. Seeing everyone walking around campus on the first day was weird but…oddly normal again. It gave me the boost of confidence that I needed to launch myself into my senior year of college.

It’s my last year here, so I plan on making it the best year out of the 4. Sure, it’s definitely stressful, what with applying to graduate school programs, taking the GRE, writing a thesis, and a million other things. But I’m determined to fully experience college life this year and make the absolute most of it. I’ve got great friends, great peers, and great professors, so how can I complain?

My advice to the incoming freshmen this semester is this: college may seem like it’ll take forever to get through, but it goes by in the blink of an eye. So, make the most of it! Make friends, take classes that interest you, and get involved! It’s a wonderful time to discover yourself not only academically, but personally as well. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and taken a lot of risks throughout my college career, and I’ve regretted none of them. So just be you, stay busy, and overall, just make sure you have a great time!

As my time here will eventually come to a close, I’m just grateful for all the memories I’ve made thus far, and can’t wait to continue to make more this final year!

Ashley Pastore

Monmouth '22

Hi! My name is Ashley Pastore, and I am a senior majoring in marine and environmental biology and policy, and minoring in information technology. I am a dog enthusiast, and love to go for hikes and try new food! Ask me anything about Harry Potter, I'm sure I'll know the answer!
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