Senior Sentiments 

Ripon College seniors shed some light on their college experience

Family, friends and graduates celebrate the Ripon College commencement ceremony on the Harwood Memorial Union lawn.

Throughout the time that the seniors have spent at Ripon College, they have not only gained an education but have also learned life lessons along the way. These seniors highlight the many different routes they took in their college experience.  

For Bre Ollech, “My favorite memory from Ripon is the ADPI Bop Event that happens every year. ADPI Bop is a sand volleyball tournament put together by the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority to raise money for their philanthropy, the Ronald McDonald House. The first time that I went to this event was my sophomore year and I was surprised just how much fun I had. I was shocked at how many people were there, and during this event, I met some of the people who I now call my best friends, and it really was cool to see how the whole school came together to support such a great cause. I was very sad my junior year when I found out this event had to be canceled because of Covid. With that being said, I was extra excited when I heard that this event was going to be back for my senior year especially since I had recently joined ADPI. Being a part of the sorority, it was extra special to see nearly the entire campus come together to help support us in this event.” 

For many seniors, it was crucial for them to get involved into a group on campus, whether that was being a member of Greek Life to being part of a club. For senior Thomas Bianchi, it was the Ripon ROTC program. Bianchi recalls his favorite moment was“doing long physical endurance and skill challenges for ROTC with the boys. At the time it absolutely sucked, but looking back it’s some of the most fun experiences I’ve had.” 

At Ripon, athletics are a huge part of the lifestyle as well and many students find their groups there, such as Evan Barbian. He said that his favorite memory at Ripon was “Springfest my freshman year in 2019. We had [baseball] games in Oshkosh where we ended up beating them on their senior day, which was some extra incentive. We then hurried back to attend the Mike Stud concert in Great Hall, which made one hell of a night.”

Other students found fond memories within their academic studies and opportunities offered. 

“One of my favorite memories at Ripon was introducing the poison dart frogs for the school in Farr Hall and my whole senior seminar journey with doing my research, presenting, and creating my poster,” Jordan Brawner said.

“One of my favorite memories would have to be when I got to know the Communication Department at a holiday party during my first semester of college. I wasn’t a declared major, but they still welcomed me with open arms and gave me so much insight about the department and classes. It really secured my decision to become a Communication major, not only because I was interested in the field, but also because the department felt like a family and I love having those connections.” Zoe Hazel said.

Not only have the seniors had great memories, but they have learned important lessons throughout their time that they wish they could tell their younger selves. 

Senior Lily Kopplin said, “Don’t listen to the rumors and don’t feed into the drama; it’s truly not worth your time or energy. You’re here for four years; that’s all you get, and it goes by way more quickly than you could ever imagine. Be yourself, have fun, get involved, push yourself way out of your comfort zone — that other stuff isn’t worth losing out on memorable experiences or your own happiness.”

“I would tell my younger self to not be tied down by people,” Senior Solangel Gonzalez said.  “If a person doesn’t seem to fit your life, do not try so hard to make your life fit them. I would also tell them to enjoy everything Ripon has to offer: go to every event, talk to people and enjoy life. College seems to take forever as a freshman but as a senior now, I feel like I blinked and four years went by. Although it sounds cliche, life does really go by fast; enjoy every minute of it because you can never get it back. Make memories you want to keep reliving!”

A student’s college experience is not only about enjoying their time, but also setting themselves up for success academically. 

Nick Tenny shared that ”you should prioritize hard work over having fun. You’ll be able to have fun later on and getting your work in first makes having fun that much more enjoyable.”

Mason Lesley said, “In academic terms, learn how to space out your studies and work to lower stress levels!”

In the end, these seniors are a small sample of the many experiences that Ripon can offer. If you are willing to make the experience what you want then Ripon has been shown by these Seniors to provide it. 

Editor’s Note: Owen Greene is a senior who also will be graduating this month. And throughout his time here at Ripon he felt that the one thing that he would tell his younger self is that “you should come into college with an open mind. There are many things that are going to happen to you throughout your time in college but if you roll with the punches and embrace your time in school then it will be an absolute blast!”