After four years, the class of 2016 has transitioned from students, to alumni. Six graduating seniors have reflected upon their undergraduate experiences. Stephen Fowler, from McDonough, Georgia, discusses his time at Emory. 

It has been exactly 1,335 days since I embarked on my journey at Emory University. Translated into another unit of time, it’s been three years, seven months and 27 days. In hours, it’s been 32,040, or about 1,922,400 minutes. Broken down even smaller is 115,344,000 seconds. That’s a lot of time. Looking back at those 100-some odd millions of seconds that I have spent walking these green grounds, fostering friendships over shared excitement and creating connections through communication, I have very little regret.

Sure, I wish I had spent more of those seconds studying for Intro to Ethics my freshman year, but it wouldn’t have led me to my present academic path. Maybe I wish I hadn’t spent so many seconds chasing after imaginary romances and dealing with heartbreak and sadness and second-guessing myself, but it wouldn’t have led me to the life-changing relationship I’m in now. Possibly I could have used more seconds to sleep eat and take better care of my body, mind and soul, but the journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance isn’t supposed to be a straight line.

There are many things in my time at Emory I enjoyed: making beautiful music in Schwartz; late night Domino’s and deep talks; discussing life, art and creation with the Dalai Lama and Salman Rushdie. I will miss the extracurricular activities that have helped me help make Emory a better place: the University Center Board, Arts Showcase, Residence Life, the Delts and yes, even the Wheel.


There are also things I hated: Financial Accounting; unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork; the way many major student organizations were run. I will not miss 4 a.m. calls as an RA to unlock people’s rooms, the unhealthy obsession this campus has with a shitty dive bar, the self-importance of far too many people here and how ill-informed most of this campus is about how journalism and the newspaper works.

In all of these events, happenings and emotions that have summed up my time at Emory, I have learned one thing above all else: We aren’t given second chances on our lives, so be sure to make every second count.

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Stephen Fowler 16C is the political reporter at Georgia Public Broadcasting, the statewide NPR affiliate in Georgia. He graduated from Emory with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and covered the central administration and Greek Life for the Wheel before serving as assistant news editor, Emory Life editor and the Executive Digital Editor from 2015-16.