Commentary: Take advantage of what your university has to offer while you’re here

April is about to turn into May and with it comes the end of the school year, and for some, the end of their college careers, at least for now.
It is a great time of year as it means summer is close at hand, even if that means more classes. We all have to graduate sometime.
Whether it’s a four-year plan or a five-year (my case), eventually, there comes a point where you must accept the fact that the end is near and you’re a few weeks away from becoming a UTSA alumnus or alumna. If you are like me and are nearing that point of departure from undergraduate to graduate, there’s not a lot I can say other than good luck in your job search.
If, however, you are not graduating in a few weeks, you will still be a proud student of UTSA in the coming semester. I hope you are active in something on campus because in the time that I have been here (since August 2008, minus a year elsewhere), this campus has changed exponentially in terms of involvement from the student body. The beginning of football as well as the success of other sports at UTSA has helped, but it also has been made possible by exemplary students and faculty.
The university is only as good as its student body and our university is getting better by the day, even if the fountains on campus remain dry (can anyone remember water in the Sombrilla fountain?). We have done a good job in terms of fan support at the first two seasons of UTSA football, but we have a long way to go before we fully lose the stereotype of being a commuter school. The challenge that I am laying down to you, fellow Roadrunners, as I write my last words for this newspaper are to remain active in the university, not just by going to athletic events but also by experiencing some of the culture offered by your alma mater.
Every semester, great speakers come to our campus. Take advantage and go listen.
Listening to other people share their ideas will help you in the long run. For example, last fall the English department hosted the current poet laureate of the United States, Natasha Trethewey, who gave a reading on campus of her latest work. That may not impress all, but it is one of the many benefits that UTSA has to offer.
If listening to speeches isn’t your thing, there are countless organizations on campus that you can get involved in to share in the excitement of being at an up-and-coming university.
There is plenty to do here as a student; you just have to be proactive and get involved in what interests you. Don’t let friends talk you into one organization or out of another. They will have their college experience and you can have yours.
Finally, even though the quality of officiating is often not the best, the intramurals offered at the Rec are another way you can be an active part of the life at UTSA. There is no reason for anyone to say they can’t find something on campus.
This university has something for everyone, especially more Starbucks than anywhere outside of Seattle (that last part isn’t true, but it’s not far off).
The next few years of your life can be enjoyable if you allow them to be. In one, two or four years, when you get ready to walk across the stage and you look back on your college experience, will you be one of the students who just attended for the degree or will you be one of the students who was active in the university and helped make it one of the best in the state. Get out there and get active, do not let opportunity pass you by!

Stephen Whitaker
Managing Editor