I’ll be graduating from Suffolk University soon, and as I think about the school I’m leaving, I wonder how I’ll feel when I think about Suffolk after I’m long gone.
The answer is not much. I’ve grown and come to see the world differently than I did four years ago, but most of those experiences didn’t come from my education, in terms of college classes.
I chose Suffolk because it advertised itself as a stable institution that would challenge me to learn and grow as a person. But in my experience, the opposite has been true.
I’ve had four presidents come and go during my time here, and not one got a chance to be the face, the leader of this school. Along with the Board of Trustees, many of them promoted a plan to “put Suffolk on the map” and improve our school. But if there is a guiding vision or a plan for the community to line up for and support, they’ve done a poor job of communicating it to us.
The campus I arrived at is mostly gone or significantly changed. That’s not all bad, but the places most memorable to me, like the Donahue building, where I first joined The Journal — my only experience at Suffolk I truly enjoyed — have been erased from the school’s story. What’s left is an awkward hodgepodge of spaces spread across markedly dissimilar buildings. Our campus is Boston, but it is indistinguishable from the city, too.
Then there’s my education. I made Dean’s list in the past, but I was recognized for two semesters in which I felt as though my professors rewarded me for such minimal effort.
In other semesters, I worked harder to do well and earned grades I deserved, but I only got recognized for the semesters I slacked off. I’ve had perhaps four or five truly great, challenging, and rewarding classes. But many of my courses, particularly sophomore and junior year, weren’t even average. They filled in my schedule, they met my degree requirements, but they didn’t provide me with much of anything to carry into my career. My internships and various jobs have filled in the areas Suffolk lacked in teaching.
While I hope other graduates had a better experience, this is how I leave Suffolk — an average graduate with some skills and life experience to help me, but no loyalty or love for the school I’ve spent four years of my life attending.