In a few hours I will officially be a Penn State alum. In many ways this is bittersweet for me. I’m going to miss State College and living close to many of my friends. I already (and will continue to) miss playing hockey here and spending time with my incredible teammates. But with everything that has been going on with me in the past few weeks, I’m excited to have the opportunity to start a new chapter of my life.

In 4 years I feel like I’ve learned a lot but very little of it is from the classes I’ve taken. And instead of being sentimental I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned that I wish someone told me when I was a freshman or sophomore.

Don’t worry about making mistakes. Mistakes aren’t the end of the world. I’ve probably made hundreds or maybe even thousands of different mistakes in my 4 years of college and I only really regret one of them. Actually, my biggest regrets are the things I didn’t do because I was too afraid of screwing up. One of my favorite quotes is “Progress involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first” by Frederick Wilcox. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Take a class that interests you, even if it has nothing to do with your major. Join that club or organization that intimidates you. Talk to that person you like—maybe they like you too.

Way too often I spent too much time worried about the small embarrassments, drama and other little things. For example, I’m completely clumsy and would get so mad at myself and embarrassed every time I tripped or was uncoordinated. At some point one of my friends asked me why it bothered me so much. She said, “no one else remembers it after a week, so why should you?” So my advice is if it won’t matter in a week then you shouldn’t stress yourself over it or worry. Focus your time and energy on bigger and better things.

And I saved what every senior will tell you for last: live it up. Take advantage of all the incredible opportunities you have at Penn State, both academically and socially. Four years seems like a lot of time but it will fly by so enjoy it.

I think that’s it. It’s really weird to know that I won’t be coming back to State College in August and even weirder to not know what exactly I will be doing in August. Hello real world?

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