A drawing of Old Main and TXST Bobcats making up San Marcos.

Making 16th Grade Last

By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor

“Congratulations, Class of 2019!”

Pomp and circumstance played as graduates entered Strahan Coliseum. It was December 2019; I attended the fall commencement to celebrate the graduation of my two friends. I was amazed by how energetic everyone was at the ceremony from the graduates to guests.

From the traditional river jump to barbecue parties, these Bobcats’ achievements had me thinking about my upcoming senior year.

I have thought of creative ways to make the most out of my senior year. It matters because, as a senior, you will be leaving behind 16-17 years of academia and taking on the real world. This is relevant specifically for people who aren’t attending grad school.

Sewell Park

A Polaroid of Riverfest 2018 held at Sewell Park.
Visiting Sewell is a Bobcat thing to do. Photo by Tiger Shi.

Other campuses such as UT Austin, Texas A&M, or Texas Tech might not have a natural resource that became a symbol of their school. That symbol here at Texas State is known as Sewell Park.

I was astonished by the fact that Bobcats were able to have a “swimming pool” in our backyard. I used to visit there frequently during my freshman and sophomore years and I loved the atmosphere it brings to Texas State Bobcats.

Therefore, taking the time by visiting Sewell Park before you graduate will bring a lasting memory. Perhaps, you could prepare for graduation by jumping into the river while visiting.

San Marcos

Many seem to forget that your college town matters too. We may not be as famous as the Aggies at College Station, but we certainly have a nice town. From the Square to Purgatory Creek, this college town is peaceful to me.

Regarding the Square, I have not been but I’ve seen and heard tales of people who did go. I will have to say this: do not drink if you aren’t over 21.

Out-of-town events

Most people probably have already done this, but for senior year, do attend events like Wurstfest, a German-themed festival, in New Braunfels.

Other events include South by Southwest in Austin and the Rodeo in San Antonio. These events would be considered kind of a last year “getaway”.

You don’t have to go to events only along the I-35 corridor. There are other fun options such as the beaches of South Padre Island and the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission.

Of course, given that we are resolving a pandemic, attending would be risky and the events could result in an unfortunate postponement or cancellation. Either way, these events would for sure clear the minds of every college senior.

Securing Your Exit

By this, I mean you should also take care of yourself. Senior year of college is likely a possible repeat of high school’s senior year. Do not let “senioritis” resurface again. This time around, its effect will be more serious because you will be applying for careers or internships after graduation.

My advice is, do these applications during the academic term just like you did when applying for college four years ago. One last obvious advice: keep your GPA and grades up since you need to qualify for graduation and potentially graduate school.

I will soon start my senior year this fall and I hope to make a lasting impression for myself, the Texas State Class of 2021 and the San Marcos community.

In anticipation of graduation, I will be working as a staff member for the Bobcat Preview program to inspire the incoming freshman class. As my high school Marine Corps ROTC instructors put it, you should “set the example” for others, including yourself.

Featured image by Tiger Shi.

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