Final exam week is upon us and, as you can gather, it signals the closing of the academic year, and for some of us, the end of our academic careers. The seniors will not return to Wooster this coming fall, and will not be amongst the hoards of coeds, tanned and enthusiastic about the promises the commencement of a new year brings.

For the new graduates, Wooster will never again be what it has been to us for the past four years: our home. Although some of us will return to see the friends we have left behind, and a few to pay frequent homage to what they will always remember as the best four years of their life (high school coming in a close second), others may not see the campus again until years from now when a powerful lapse of nostalgia inspires us to take a road trip through Ohio. Some of the fresh alumni may only return to their old stomping grounds after being encouraged by a factor that gives them a chance to prove that their lives outside the college walls have lived up to every expectation that their lives within the college walls tried so hard to prepare them for. For some, this may mean hooking a hot fiancÈ, losing a few pounds, purchasing a Bentley or finally having enough cash to buy everyone at the UG a drink ó thus becoming the baller they had always hoped to be. But to many of us, these ìexpectations” of success all culminate in one grand word that is every bit as exciting as it is terrifying ó a job!

A few of my good friends have a job. A real job, meaning, come June, they will be on a career path to success. These friends of mine are very fortunate, in fact, I often grow annoyed if I hear them complain about anything, and witness them without a smile plastered across their faces.

ìUgh, itís such nasty weather outside,” one of the ìblessed” may say during a violent thunderstorm. I tried to hide my irritation ó ìHow dare she fuss” I think to myself, ìShe has a job.” Over dinner, one of these ìpeople” may complain about that nightís food selection. I roll my eyes ó ìSo what if theyíre all out of tortilla soup? You have a job!” When one of them fell and bloodied her knee last weekend, I was almost disgusted when she started to cry, thinking, ìWho cares if you can see your bone through the wound? You are already on a path to success, you big baby.”

Iím not bitter about this, though. Iíve learned to look forward to the coming months. I think I will enjoy living at home, and frankly, once I learn how to deal with the unreasonable curfews, the daily chores, the bickering sisters and the scarce amount of alcohol, I know I will have one hell of a summer ó or perhaps one hell of an eight to nine years! In all seriousness though, I havenít a clue of where my life will take me in the future. I am sure, however, that I will make it to where I want to be, because I (as well as all of us) have the tools to do so. Okay, Iím not, like, 100 percent sure if all our personal wishes for the future will come true ó Iím not completely positive (Iím just a 21-year-old college student who has been described as ìtoo optimistic”). But I am certain of one thing: it is a hell of a lot better to be hopeful and confident in yourself than to get discouraged and blue when your old best friend from high school informs you sheíll be making $60,000 next year.

So, when an acquaintance approaches you and mentions he has been offered a job with Google and is contemplating whether to purchase a loft in SoHo or a brownstone in Manhattan, please donít choke on your PBR and then run to the keg to get 10 more cups of the sweet nectar. Instead, congratulate him, say something like, ìThereís nothing like Momís home cooking,” or ìIíll probably do some travelling” and walk away, satisfied that you decided not to tell him his fly was wide open.

It will work out, it just has to. Godspeed.

Stephanie Fuller has been a biweekly columnist for the Arts & Entertainment section. She can be reached for comment at