By Sarah Nainar ’14
Fall semester can be such a beautiful time of year on campus, and my final fall semester at W&J seems especially so. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy being outside, and the trees are transforming into fiery shades of red and orange. Old Main’s stately construction adds a sophisticated backdrop to the sprawling grass lawn scattered with white Adirondack chairs. I like to take advantage of those small gaps of time between my classes—maybe 15 or 25 minutes—to sit in my favorite shaded area under a tree, to soak in a bit of the fresh air, to relax, and to think.
As a senior, I find it funny how much has changed—how much I have changed—in the last four years. But my chair beneath the tree—the one I have visited frequently since freshman year—has stayed, reliable and enduring. Here at W&J, I’ve fulfilled my academic goals. The time I have spent working in the science laboratories will serve me well in taking the next steps in my career. I can set up a distillation in no time, transform plasmid DNA easily, and perform research using the methods and equipment of Ph.D. students. My six-month study abroad in the Netherlands allowed me to take courses with subject matter I had only seen on the Discovery channel. Nanobiotechnology, the application of atomic scale techniques to biological models, is only one example. I have had the pleasure of working with my professors as a lab assistant. As a person, I have matured and flourished in ways that I had not expected. I am more outgoing than I ever thought I could be.
But in this sea of change, my spot in the shade is the anchor. From here, I can visualize my future. I will stride into the professional world, eager and prepared to do so. And as the surroundings change, with the trees transitioning from summer to fall, I too have transitioned into what I conceive to be, the best form of myself.
Sarah Nainar ’14, is a Biochemistry major with a Professional Writing concentration. She studied abroad at Radboud University in the Netherlands during the fall semester of her junior year.