You only get four years: one student’s journey

By Jamie Santoro
April 5, 2011


I graduated from LaSalle College High School in June 2008. I was young, dumb, bright-eyed and bushy tailed. I spent the summer working as a lifeguard, escaping to the shore whenever possible and eventually, saying my goodbyes to friends. In August, I left for Cabrini.

Before I continue, I should just mention that I live 20 minutes away and I will make it sound far more dramatic than it should have been. I listened to “I’m Ready” by Jack’s Mannequin on the drive over because I’m deep like that. Actually, it was the first song I heard after leaving from my last day of high school. Insert some “coming full circle” comment here.

Anyway, my freshman year was pretty uneventful. I was far from the popularity king, not unlike my high school days. I did go home almost every weekend. And by almost every weekend I meant every weekend. I wish I had a good reason, I had a job but I didn’t work every weekend and I did not have a girlfriend.

What I do have are three siblings. I am a home body and momma’s boy so spending time at home was inevitable. Living at school in the first place was a challenge. It would have been easy and comfortable for me to commute, but that’s not what college is about. College is a time to challenge yourself and grow because of it. This might not seem like a big deal, but it was huge and it’s one of my proudest moments.


Sophomore year, unlike freshman year, was about getting involved. Freshman year, I was really focused on myself and didn’t really do anything outside of my classes. Come sophomore year it was time for a change. My adviser, Jerry Zurek, used the phrase “say yes” in at least every other sentence. So I took his advice.

In my sophomore year, I was a staff writer of this fine publication, I was working as a CRS ambassador, I began working as a student ambassador in the admissions office, I was apart of the sports department for 89.1 WYBF-FM The Burn and a news anchor on LOQation. I guess I took his advice a bit too far.

Becoming a part of all of those activities was stressful but it helped me create a great circle of friends and it kept me busy. You know what they say, idle hands are the devil’s play things.

I also found something I had never experienced before: a small chunk of popularity. I don’t want you to think college is anything like high school socially but you have popular people and the not popular people. I was hanging out with the editorial staff of the newspaper and the big names in SGA.

The most important part of that though? I didn’t care. I had friends that I had grown to love. The concept of popularity didn’t hit me until later because I was preoccupied having an amazing time at college.


Coming into my junior year, I was still very active. I was weekend director of events on CAP Board, our programming board here on campus, and I was beginning my year as Perspectives Editor.

More importantly I turned 21. Lucky me. One thing I love about Cabrini is not only do we offer an excellent education, but when we want to, we can party.

A few weekends ago we celebrated 50 nights til graduation. That isn’t a typo. I know I’m not graduating, but I can send my senior friends off in style can’t I?

While the parties were fun, I don’t want you to think I have a problem.

Junior year was about me realizing that college has a finite time span. There is a time that I will not be in school and it is soon.

That’s scary.

I am thinking about jobs and kids and houses. Some of that may be coming on a bit early, but I’m a worrier.

Even though there is this pressure on me, pressure I put on myself, I look at my resume and I’m calmer. I am really proud of the work I have done here. My portfolio is kind of stacked if you’ll allow me to ring my own bell a bit.

The education I have is preparing me for life. Whether I chose to be successful or charitable, I can do it.

Technically I haven’t begun senior year, a fact I am grateful for. I can spew off a hundred hopes and dreams I have for senior year, but I don’t want to sound like a 7 year old at Christmas time.

My only hope is that by some anomily of space and time, it doesn’t end.

College, to me, represents not only a great education and the tools that will help me succeed. That’s the obvious stuff.

College is a time where I did things that I never thought I could ever do. I went in a timid, self-conscious boy, and now as I enter my final semesters, I am a man.

I am building my future and, while I may cave under the pressure I am facing now and then, I have confidence, a confidence I found through my time at Cabrini.

As the class of 2011 prepares for graduation, I am putting myself into their shoes. I am predicting that I will be a wreck come this time next year, as will many of my classmates.

I am very proud to be graduating from this institution, but I’d rather put it off.

Come check on me next year, hopefully I’ll be fine.



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Jamie Santoro

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