Soon-to-be graduates reflect on time at MTSU, provide advice for incoming freshman

Photos courtesy of Gina Greiss,  Jada Conwell, Dagi Bahiru and Keaven Burton

Story by Bruceann Owen / Contributing Writer

It’s a few days before the final walk that establishes a new milestone in one’s life: graduating college. It’s a bittersweet moment for the students of MTSU who will be entering a new world.

Proud seniors walk with their heads held high as their last days are approaching. Jada Conwell, an exercise science major, reminisced about one of her favorite moments: MTSU’s “Crash the Commons” event during her freshman year.

“I had just met new people,” Conwell said. “That was really my first thing coming out of my dorm room, and I was really scared to be here.”

She continued to reflect on the moment, stating, “It was a defining moment for me just because it brought me out of my shell. So, it set the tone for the rest of the way I was going to be.”

For many seniors, the time spent at MTSU brought growth, along with many learning and life experiences. However, it’s also where seniors met some of their closest friends.

Keaven Burton, a public relations major, said the MTSU Recreation Center is where it all started.

“It was just how I met people,” Burton said. “Meeting up with everybody, I would say, was my fondest memory.”

But it wasn’t all fun and games for most.

The countless days of ramen noodles for dinner, pulling all-nighters or studying for exams with that one hard professor was never easy. Some said it felt like the world was going to end when sacrifices had to be made.

“The hardest thing about being in college is remaining hopeful and faithful,” said Gina Greiss, a marketing and business administration major.

“It is easy to lose sight of what is right when everything is wrong,” she said.

Others like Dagi Bahiru, an aerospace major, said, “Stressing about stress, it’s a balancing act.”                

For most students, finishing in the average four years is the goal. But, sometimes unexpected circumstances occur, and a vision may change.

“School is a marathon,” Burton said. “People finish at their own pace.”

He said that everyone has their own purpose in life, so you can’t get caught up in the comparison.

As far as words of encouragement and advice go, the class of 2018 had some things to share with incoming freshmen.

“Time management is very important while in college,” Bahiru said. “So, manage your time and focus.”

“Get involved around campus because it makes a difference in the long run,” Greiss suggested.

“Don’t get caught up trying to race next to the person next to you and miss out,” Burton said. 

“Your MTSU experience is what you make it,” Conwell said. “If you want to be involved, have fun. (If) you want to be involved and want to make (your) way and create new things, then that’s here for you. But, it’s not going to come to you. I would challenge incoming freshmen (to) … really step out of their box, and go for what you want.”

To contact Lifestyles Editor Sydney Wagner, email

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