It's time to cross the finish line

By Luis Martinez, Guest Writer

You have probably seen me around campus before. My name is Luis Martinez, and I am in my last semester at Newman University before earning a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership. But I wish I could start my Newman experience all over again. Studying at Newman University has been like a dream come true.

A month away from graduating, I still have occasional doubts about the major I chose, but when I decided to pursue a degree, I knew exactly where I wanted to study. Newman University was my first and only choice.

I came to know Newman through some friends who studied here and whose moral character I admired. They were exemplary individuals, and I wanted to follow their education path. I did not want to go to college just to get a degree; I wanted to go to college to live the learning experience.

It feels like yesterday when my acceptance letter came in the mail, and almost two years later I still cannot believe I am a Jet. Newman has exceeded my expectations. I really like the size of our campus and how accessible everything and everybody is. I am pleased to have met several people from different cultural backgrounds and blessed to have made a few friends.

The schoolwork has been the tough part for me. As an international and first-generation college student, I often have more questions than answers, but I use that challenge as a motivator to work harder. College can be tough, but if taken seriously, it truly transforms you. I know I am a better reader than I was four years ago...and a bit humbler, too.

If time were circular, I would retake all my classes to focus more on the learning part rather than meeting due dates. I would also get more involved in extracurricular activities so as to get a better feel of the school. But I understand that life is short, and we have got to move on.

My overall learning experience at Newman has been great, but the time to wrap things up and say thank you has another freaking assignment’s due date!

First and foremost, thank you to the school for accepting me; to the anonymous heroes behind my generous scholarships that played a key role in my education; to my teachers, who have helped me tremendously; and to all my classmates, who have shared a moment of their existence with me.

I would be lying if I said that I am completely excited about graduating. For some reason, the sunset of my Newman experience makes me a bit nostalgic. It makes me reflect on everything that I have gone through, and part of me wishes to live it all again. On the other hand, I am happy to complete another milestone in my learning experience and excited about my next sunrise which I cannot anticipate yet.

But I do not want to celebrate yet; it is still 2020 and anything, or everything, can happen. Therefore I want to remain focused in order to finish strong. The finishing line is just a few more finals ahead, I can see it. When I cross it, I am going to be feeling cute, might go skydiving later to celebrate, I don’t know!

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo,