The Most of Four Years

The Most of Four Years

By Justin Caulfield, Chief Copy Editor

With my four years at Xavier coming to an end, I look back and reflect on my time here. There have been many obstacles that have made life difficult, but Xavier was always a place for me to develop my skills and practice my passions. I know that when I go to The Catholic University of America in the fall, I will be ready, and I have Xavier to thank for that. I have certainly gained a lot during my time at Xavier, and I want to help future students to do the same by answering this question: How does one make the most of four years?

It is important to know that you get as much out of Xavier as you put in. If you don’t try to embrace the Xavier experience, then you will be disappointed. I divide the Xavier experience into two halves, the academics and the community. Everyone experiences academics everyday whether you like it or not, but the community may go overlooked by many students. There is no better way to get involved in the community than the SAC Fair. If any club is even remotely interesting, sign up and attend the first meeting. If it’s not for you, then tell the moderator, and move on. But if you do end up liking the club, then you may discover a new passion. At the start of each of my years, I must have signed up for ten clubs. After dropping about half of them, I had a healthy collection of clubs that I would attend regularly. There was hardly a day that I would leave school as the bell rang. If you run away from the school as soon as you hear the words “pray for us” at the end of prayer, then you’re missing out on the second half of Xavier: the community. The school may have living people in it during class hours, but the school comes to life during club hours. You’d be surprised at how energetic people can be about things they love to do.

If you have trouble finding a club that’s right for you, then you could always create one. If you have a passion, then the school is more than willing to support you. You could found a completely new club or reboot a defunct one. In my senior year, I decided to reboot Falcon Talk, Xavier’s podcast. It took a bit of work, but the administration was very supportive and provided us with the necessary resources to get the ball rolling. 

There are several one-time events that Xavier holds. Miss them and they’re gone. After sophomore year, the class retreats are optional. At first glance, you may think that you’d never attend an optional retreat. However, I encourage you to attend the junior and senior retreats. They both span several days, meaning that there is more time to reap the rewards of the retreat, and they will have longer lasting and more profound effects on your life. In that same vein, joining peer ministry is extremely rewarding. You will hardly even realize that you’re doing a service to the school because you’ll be doing it among friends. Many hands make light work, and when you’re working with friends, the work might just be a fun experience. 

It’s very rare in life that you are surrounded by people who want to see you succeed and will help you to achieve your goals. Teachers are always more than willing to help you get better grades in class so long as you demonstrate a genuine desire to improve and put in the effort. This is also true with extracurricular activities. Sports coaches want you to put in the work so that you can excel and perform well. Club moderators want you to participate so that you can grow and enhance your skills. However, to get the results you want, you need to work hard.

The Xavier community builds itself up through camaraderie and enduring personal relationships. Your Xavier journey is already underway and you cannot change the past, but the future is still yet to be made. When you look back on your time at Xavier, will you be able to say that you made the most of your four years? Once you put in the effort and embrace the Xavier community, you’ll be able to make the most of your time at Xavier. You can only be a student at Xavier once, but your experiences will be a part of you forever. I know for sure that my experiences will never leave me. Truly, I have made the most of four years.