Seniors reflect on their missed opportunities at VC

When you arrive on campus as a wide-eyed freshman, you’re immediately greeted with numerous course options and opportunities to get involved on campus. But time isn’t infinite; at some point you must make a decision about what paths to take and make choices that will define your four years at Vassar. For some members of the graduating Class of 2013, though they do not regret the paths they have chosen, they wish there had been time to indulge in more experiences ranging from academic to extracurricular .

Member of Vassar Student Association Finance Committee and President of the Senior Class Vince Marchetta ’13 stated that it is nearly impossible to join everything one would like to in four short years.

“At a school with as many opportunities as Vassar, it’s difficult to not have regrets simply based on not being a part of clubs, seeing every show, going to every lecture, taking a class in every department, and basically just doing everything ever,” he wrote in an emailed statement.

Similarly, FlyPeople member Rachel Glorsky ’13 explained that she would have gotten more involved with certain activities and taken advantage of the resources available to her.

“If days had been infinitely long, I would have joined so many student organizations like UNICEF and Vassar Haiti Project, joined EMS, gone to all of the drama performances and a capella concerts, learned to play an instrument, been a lab intern, done research with a professor, done fieldwork, gone to more Latin Mug Nights and Jazz Nights, and laid in the sun a little longer when when it was warm and everyone was out on the lawn being all liberal arts [college-like],” Glorsky wrote in an emailed statement.

Music major Michael Hofmann ’13, however, felt that his time at Vassar has taught him not to look back on the past with regret. “As a musician and performer, I’ve come to learn through the concerts, recitals and operas I’ve done that there’s no room to hold regrets for what you’ve done on stage. I believe that a big part of growing as an artist is learning to accept that what you do and how you do it will never be perfect,” he wrote in an emailed statement.

For example, Hofmann recalled his work with Do Something VC. Although he acknowledged issues with the organization, it is one experience from his four years he is most proud of. He does, however, wish he was more prepared for it.

He said, “I do not regret my involvement in the events our hastily-formed organization did. I do wish that I had more experience with activism before jumping head-first into a leadership position of one of the most controversial groups formed during my time at Vassar. I had very little clue of what I was getting myself into, and I was so passionate about my own convictions about Do Something’s virtues that I failed to see its problems until after it was too late.”

While organizations and extracurriculars played a vital role in the past four years for these seniors, they also had aspects of academics that they wish they could have explored.

“There are some specific events that have happened this past year that have made me rethink what I would do four years ago knowing what I do now… [A] first-time for me was taking a sociological course–Professor Colette Cann’s ‘Race, Representation and Resistance in US Schools.’ As a white student with very little experience in discussing race (or really any aspect of identity as it relates to society as a whole), the course opened my eyes to an entirely new way of thinking critically about racial issues on personal, cultural, and institutional levels,” he wrote.

He continued, “In the course, Professor Cann really pushes us to reexamine our own racial experiences in order to create an individual framework for approaching the rest of our class’s discussion. This is something I’ve never done before, and while it was a bit rocky for me at the start, I am so incredibly grateful to have had the experience. I feel both more comfortable with my own identity and more equipped to be an active participant in the discussion of social issues in general.”

Glorsky wishes she would have gone to more lectures and taken advantage of the opportunity to hear the wide array of speakers Vassar brings to the campus. She said, “I guess if I had to pick one regret it would be that I didn’t take full advantage of all the opportunities to listen to some of the incredible lecturers that Vassar brings to campus. I realize now that those were rare and valuable opportunities that I probably won’t have again.”

Marchetta expressed a similar sentiment in regards to classes, specifically those from freshmen year While the choices ultimately had no impact on his entire academic career, he feels he missed an opportunity to explore some of his longtime interests.

He wrote, “I really regret missing out on the class my freshman year that had a significant unit about dinosaurs (the footprints on the sidewalk near the Aula were part of a project for that class). For the first half of my life I was obsessed with dinosaurs and hoped to be a paleontologist, and since college is all about nostalgia, I’m sad to have missed the chance to live my old dream for a little and to reengage myself with a topic I love.”

But for Marchetta, who revealed that academics were not his number one priority, he regrets how some aspects of his interpersonal interactions, especially ones from his time on the rowing team, were handled, how friendships formed and drifted apart.

He said, “I regret not maintaining certain relationships with people and for letting some people slip out of my life unintentionally. There have been a number of people who have gone from friends to acquaintances after they left the rowing team and I remained, and the difference in schedules kept us from maintaining steady friendships. While being on a team together does give you a lot of time to establish strong bonds, it silly to assume that once a mutual activity is lost a friendship can’t be maintained.”

Though Marchetta acknowledges that he does have regrets, he explained that what is important is that overall he enjoyed his four years at Vassar. “ There’s always a “what if” when you look back at all of the endless possibilities for how your time could have been spent, but while I acknowledge my regrets I recognize that I can never go back, and that’s not bad. I like to think that I got the most out of Vassar as I could, and I don’t really think I would change a thing.”

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