Advice from Graduating BOREDies: Giannina and Marty

As the seasons come and go, so too changes the make-up of your friendly neighborhood UVM BORED team.  Each year we ask our Graduating BOREDies to tell us their wise ways and lovely UVM lessons. So before they walk across that stage, graduating BOREDies Giannina and Marty, share some final thoughts and bits of advice to impart before they officially become UVM BORED alums.

Marty’s Accountability Action Plan

Four years definitely passes you by, especially the last two years. I think the most important thing I have learned over the last four years is to hold my self accountable for my actions, my mistakes, and my own success. I have learned to drop the “chill” act and accept the fact that I am indeed not a “chill” person, however, I am completely fine with that. In the last few weeks as I have been recounting my college experiences I came to the conclusion that apathy is never a good look, I especially emphasize this to my male-identified peers. If you are interested in something, get involved!

Make Mistakes
I have found that it is incredibly important to make mistakes. However, it is even more important to hold yourself accountable for your own mistakes. I sound like Gary Vaynerchuk right now but I think the man speaks some truth. You cannot expect to grow if you continue to make the same mistake over an over.

Junior Year Reigns Supreme
This is a hot take, but I will stand by it. I often find myself wistfully recalling my junior year. There is this overarching comfort in having one year left. Once senior year rolled around I was already preparing myself for my post-grad life. If you are a junior reading this right now, I am sorry. But for first-year and sophomore folks enjoy your third year, things start to come together.

Stay Active, Get Sleep, Listen to Podcasts
My experience at UVM would not have been the same without UVM Crew. Throughout my first two years this sport brought me the structure that I craved. In my last two years rowing brought me physical and mental challenges that I never believed I would overcome. Most importantly, rowing kept me active and taught me that physical activity is incredibly important to maintaining good mental health.Sleep is perhaps the most important staple in thriving during your undergrad. Although rowing practice roused me from my slumber at the ripe hour of 5:10am for seven semesters, I tried my hardest to get 8 hours of sleep per night. A good night’s sleep makes all the difference, oh and “nothing good happens after 2am” is always true.Most importantly, podcasts are the most valuable discovery of my undergrad. Joe Rogan made me look forward to my 10 hour drive home to Ohio (the Heart of America). There is a podcast for everyone and I believe that there is no better way to spend a long car ride.

I am starting to feel as if I am shouting at the sky so I am going to wrap it up here. TL;DR get involved, make mistakes, stay active, and most importantly listen to podcasts.

Your favorite email author,

Giannina’s Thoughts and Things

Hello! For me, college has been a hodge-podge of ambitions, feelings, and opinions that all turned upside-down and inside-out over the past four years. My advice is to let it happen. 🙂 It’s a whirlwind and that’s okay! Here’s some of my thoughts – some big, some little, but all honest. <3

Being a college student is stressful ~ there’s just no way around it. While I don’t mean to diminish the pressure we all feel in different ways, I want to offer a reminder that the tough stuff is what builds up our muscle. Looking back, I wish that I took a moment to zoom out a little more often, to remind myself that learning shouldn’t be easy, and my opinions should be challenged. This makes it easier to stay grateful for the opportunity to be learning at an institution of higher ed.

That said, my next bit of advice is to take time to check-in with yourself and with your friends.

Slow down when you eat. Eat some home-cooked meals. The Slade Ecological Food Coop is a wacky and wonderful place full of local veggies and welcoming humans and you can always go there for dinner. They’ve got potluck dinners every weeknight at 7, open to all. Ask around for the address; you’ll find it soon enough. Sometimes, Slade finds you. 🙂

Make eye contact with the world, not your phone. When you’re in the lecture hall waiting for class to start, or sitting on the bus, or walking through campus, look around. Say hey!

When you need a brain-break, go climb a tree.

Read these: Braiding Sweetgrass by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Envisioning a Sustainable World by Dr. Donella Meadows… especially if you’re feeling sad about the state of the world.

Braiding Sweetgrass is a book about indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge surrounding plants. It’s poetic and pertinent in the way that it illuminates the validity of multiple forms of knowing. As college students, it’s our job to learn, so we really ought to consider the task of learning in more than one way. Dr. Kimmerer spotlights indigenous voices, something that I believe every institution of higher education has the moral responsibility to do.

Envisioning a Sustainable World is the most motivating piece of writing I’ve ever been assigned to read. The late Dr. Meadows, who was a systems scientist at MIT, puts forth the essential value of vision. If we can’t envision something, how can we possibly work toward it? We have to stop being ashamed of envisioning a perfect world. We need to start owning our deep, human yearning for a desirable future by giving that vision words. Tell your friends your biggest dreams! Write it down! Think about it before breakfast! It’s not silly to dream; it’s crucial.

Stay together / learn the flowers / go light

^those are the final lines of this lovely poem about education these days. Worth pondering!

College is a whirlwind… It’s also an avalanche, and a flower bud slowly opening itself up to the world, and it’s a little bug slowly crawling up and over a big boulder, only to find more boulders to climb. College is a lot of things and perhaps there’s little use in trying to describe it to other people. I do, however, think there is use in simply owning your personal experience. Your experience matters – and it matters the most to you. Act accordingly 🙂