The Day After Commencement

In my freshman year, I quickly became attached to Geneseo. I loved the people I was meeting and the things I was learning, and I almost immediately became a tour guide. After becoming more and more engaged with social media, thinking about digital spaces, and feeling increasingly at home in Geneseo, I proposed the idea of an Admissions Blog – which would allow readers to engage with Geneseo in an even greater capacity than they could on tour – to Admissions Counselor Amanda in Spring of 2011. She shared the idea with her colleagues in Admissions and College Communications, and we had a prototype up by that summer. This is that blog.

I have worked with Geneseo’s Admissions office in a variety of ways, speaking frequently to potential students and their parents. I was committed to spreading the word about my experiences at Geneseo because every semester I felt as though I had been given opportunities and high impact experiences that helped me understand myself and negotiate the world better.

In my first semester sophomore year, I took a whole slew of classes, including Fiction Writing, that helped me engage with cultural identity. I started working at the Math Learning Center. In Spring of Sophomore year, I TAed a course for the first time. I took a course on aesthetics that provided a foundation for most everything I would learn afterwards, and I saw real, upper-level proofs-based math in my hands-on, inquiry-based Abstract Algebra course. That summer I took my favorite class at Geneseo, online: Language & Gender. In the fall I TAed a section of Proofs, randomly learned about quantum mechanics, and helped launch what has since left my hands and grown into a beautiful literary project, Gandy Dancer magazine (http://gandydancer.org). I spent the spring in beautiful Budapest, and the following fall I TAed Language and Culture, complete with a total curriculum redesign, that shaped a great deal of what I wanted to do moving forward. This past semester, I considered many post-graduation plans. And on Saturday, I graduated. This fall, I will be starting my Ph.D. in Learning Sciences at Indiana University. This program is interdisciplinary – it plays with my love of math, of writing, or curriculum redesign and teaching, and with how digital spaces function (influenced most certainly by my work on this blog).

And I remember a slew of abstractions. Nights up late, walking around, talking to friends. Hockey games. Weekend trips. I think of my Geneseo friends and I think of insight and fun.

So what? I’ve had a lot of great experiences at Geneseo, as I’ve just listed out. But now I am an alumnus. And that feels strange indeed. I’m not fully ready to leave Geneseo behind. And maybe that’s alright. I really think Geneseo is part of the larger community in a special way. Throughout my time, I’ve met alumni and parents and potential students and teachers who all keep connecting to Geneseo. I don’t believe a place that has given me so many high-impact experiences will fade from my memory. I’ll be back here, I know.

One of the first blog posts I wrote was “What do I ask on Tour?”  Whenever I give tours, I remember how overwhelming it was as a high school student, how very much I didn’t know about what kinds of college experiences I was looking for. But looking back, that blog post is still clunky. I think I can streamline it even more. This year, on preview days, I met with students and parents who were ready to take that leap. I told them, you really only need to ask yourselves two questions as you look for what you want out of college. What do you want to learn? and Who do you want to meet? 

If I had to do it all again, well, I would be delighted to have a second round of Geneseo, which I would choose again, and again, and again. I have learned so much from so many people, and as I transition from student to alumnus, I have no regrets.

It’s not easy to try and capture all of this is one post. But I’ve been lucky to have this and other forums available to chronicle all of this Geneseo. I hope, dear reader, that this blog has been giving you insights and continues to keep you in touch with Geneseo. I hope that if you’re a potential student or parent, you’re getting a good sense of our culture. That if you’re an alumnus, the blog is helping you stay in Geneseo even if you’re far. This is what I hoped for when I brought the idea to Amanda over three years ago. I’ll be keeping up with it, I know, reading it in the fall when I’m not in New York.

Thanks to Amanda and Kris and Laura and Jackie and my fellow bloggers and everyone else who has helped make this project a reality. And my eternal gratitude to all of those who have been a part of my Geneseo experience. And of course, to you, reader, for sticking around.

There are big plans for Geneseo (despite my departure). Keep up with us throughout the season and the fall, because we’ll have lots of cool stuff to share!

I hope you have a delightful summer. I don’t think I mentioned that I’m spending mine in Geneseo, which makes saying goodbye quite a bit easier!

Yours Always,
Suraj