The Final Countdown

August 26, 2010
By Matt Long
Matt and Chandler Thompson working at the Homecoming Members' Tailgate

Matt Long and Chandler Thompson at the Alumni Association's Homecoming Members' Tailgate in 2009.

This is the first post from Matt Long, a senior finance major from Hickory. He’s one of four students who will be blogging for us this fall. Learn more about them here.

It’s the final countdown. I have officially begun my senior year at NC State. As an underclassman, I had always heard seniors say, “I can’t believe it. The time really has flown by.” Well, as much as I hate to follow the crowd, they were right. It almost seems impossible that I have been a student at State for three years already and have less than one remaining. So thus begins a year of lasts: my last football season as a student, my last Homecoming, my last Christmas vacation, and the list goes on. It really becomes increasingly depressing the more that I think about it. I still remember what my chemistry teacher told me right before graduating high school. She said, “Make everything you can out of your college years because never in your life will you again be presented with the opportunities that you have in those four years.” It has taken the bitter reality of my time at State coming to an end for me to realize that she was right.  I feel that being a student at NC State has provided me with opportunities that I will forever remember and tell my kids about some day.

Looking back, it is difficult to narrow down my top memories from my time here, but there are some events that stick out in my mind. I will always remember the amazing Homecoming weeks and the contagious school spirit that captivates the campus during that time. It’s a week that red floods the campus and students come together in celebration of our great university.

SC Pep Rally

Pep rally before the NC State/South Carolina football game in 2009.

Last year’s pep rally for the South Carolina football game was one of the high points of my college experience as well. As an Alumni Association Student Ambassador, I had a front row seat to this incredible pep rally for the Wolfpack. The common thread in all of these memories is the pride that each person on this campus carries for this university. I love that I can meet an alumnus who graduated from State before I was born and as soon as he or she finds out I’m a student, they instantly begin sharing memories they have from when they were a student. It’s a pride that obviously does not fade just because one walks across the stage at graduation.

Even though I have some amazing memories from my past three years as a student, I am in no way discounting the excitement that I feel about my upcoming senior year. I am very much looking forward to making the most that I possibly can out of every day of this year. Even though it is the final countdown until graduation and I will be moving on from this chapter of my life to a new one, I still have a full year that I’m sure will produce many more memories for the books. And just because I’m walking across a stage and receiving a piece of paper in May that says that I have fulfilled my degree, it in no way marks the conclusion of my relationship with NC State. I look forward to remaining a part of the Wolfpack family by attending football and basketball games in the future as well as being a member of the Alumni Association and staying connected with my alma mater in every way possible. Then I will be that excited alumnus telling a student about my unforgettable times at NC State.

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