After all of the brunches, Festivuses, Darwin Weeks, Flying Spaghetti Monster dinners and other events, it’s finally time to say good-bye and good luck to the graduating UNIFI members. Congratulations UNIFI Class of 2014! Here are some parting remarks for new and upcoming members and UNI students:
John Chesley, BS Geology
Next year: I will be attending grad school at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Eventually I would like to work in the oil and gas industry.
UNIFI gave me a group of people to identify with, a way to build leadership skills and a close group of friends that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. And at the end of the day as a geology major, I’d really just have to say that UNIFI rocks.
The most valuable thing that I learned in college is that the world isn’t the way it appears.
And when it comes to college, make sure to get involved and stay active. After all, you only get 4-5 years so make it worthwhile.
Lauren Dietz, MA Public Policy
Next year: I would really love to get a job in a state where I wouldn’t mind paying taxes to their government.
UNIFI is the first time I have been with like-minded individuals at home. When I was living in Madison, being an atheist seemed like the norm, but here it’s not. It’s nice to be with people that understand.
The advice I would give to students is to not be afraid to take advice, but also don’t let people push you into doing anything. Do what you need to do, whether it’s in a class, activity, or whatever. Take people’s advice,
but don’t take it as a directive.
Brandt Skilling, MA History
Next year: reapplying to PhD programs. Ultimately I want to be a professor of history.
I’ve always loved going to UNIFI brunch. It’s great to take part in community with friends where there isn’t really a goal in mind. You just go to brunch and talk about anything and everything for a few hours. That sense of community and engagement is what keeps me coming back to UNIFI.
Sometimes you just have to put yourself aside and let things be different.
Nate Schultz, MA Public Policy
Next year: Still living in Cedar Falls short-term. Eventually I would like to get a job doing something in the non-profit health sector, maybe working with something like the American Cancer Society.
I like the fact that people in UNIFI can voice their opinions about things other groups may consider taboo or “too progressive” without fear of judgment. UNIFI is a good soundboard for discussion.
I don’t really believe in free will anymore, I think that’s probably philosophy club’s fault.
Jesse Moeller, BA Mathematics
Next year: Coming back to the graduate program at UNI to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics. Eventually I would love to become an educator at the college level.
UNIFI has meant a lot to me during my time at UNI. When I came to UNI as a transfer student I knew that I wanted a community of people with whom I could discuss politics, ideas, and recent events. UNIFI provided just that and more. In my three years in UNIFI I have learned new things about myself and the world, I have refined my viewpoints on serious opinions, and perhaps most important of all, I have built important relationships with some of the greatest people I have ever met; relationships that I am confident will last a lifetime.
If you disagree with someone, do not silence yourself or resent them for it. Benefit the community by contributing to the greater dialogue. State your alternative position and explain yourself clearly without passion. Tactful presentation of your dissent will bring everyone closer to finding the truth.
Stef McGraw, BA Philosophy and Spanish
Next year: not really sure yet, eventually I would love to
work for a non-profit.
UNIFI has pretty much meant everything to me, I can’t imagine what my college experience would have been without it. UNIFI has given me an opportunity to form my own personal philosophy about how I want to live through secular humanism. It has also allowed me to really speak my opinion and realize that even if my opinion is blasphemous or controversial, it has the potential to spark powerful and interesting conversations. I sincerely hope that UNIFI continues to thrive as a force for reasoning, skepticism, and secular values.
One of the most important things I have learned is how to reason. I don’t mean to say that my conclusions are always correct, but I’ve learned how to think more effectively. I’m better able to focus on the actual subject at hand rather than focusing too much on details.
Sarah Wood, BA Psychology
Next year: starting a full-time job with Lutheran services in
Iowa working with youth with mental illness.
UNIFI has been a great place to discuss views that are generally looked down on. I believe that discussion leads to understanding, and talking with peers in UNIFI has allowed me to solidify my own views as well as understand the views of others.
Don’t be afraid to get involved with a lot of things when you come to college. Once you decide what you actually like and what you really want to be involved with, you can narrow it down.
Everyone should be involved, but not in everything.