By: Matt Dettra
Amanda Schippers, soon-to-be-graduate of Arcadia University, sat on the edge of the water feature on campus, letting the sun beat down on her. “I love it out here,” she said. “Especially in the spring time. There’s so much color.” She smiles and turns. “I was almost positive this winter would kill me on the inside, if not physically, so I’m glad it’s over.” She stood and tossed a pebble into the water, sending ripples throughout the pond.
She moved to the bench nearby and took out her phone to snap a photo for her Instagram. Or Snapchat. Or both. “I’m really going to miss this place,” she said. “So many memories here.”
Schippers is a senior here at Arcadia University. She was born in Slatington, Pennsylvania and attended Northern Lehigh High School, where she was on the honor roll and involved in many sports, taking full advantage of everything school had to offer. She felt that she truly began to experience life once her college career began, though.
“Don’t get me wrong—I loved high school,” she said. “I love my high school friends and all the activities I was involved in, but Arcadia was something different. It was college, but much more.”
Schippers began her college career in 2010 as an undecided major. She eventually chose sociology and picked up minors in both education and psychology along the way.
She arrived at Arcadia with enthusiasm, excitement, and a little bit of that first-year nervousness. “I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as cheesy as that sounds,” she recalled. “I was nervous as well, but I felt freedom here. No parents. No curfew. No rules.” She snapped another picture with her phone. “Well,” she said laughing, “there are rules but everybody breaks those anyway.”
Similar to her high school life, Schippers’ college career started off with a busy schedule. She felt that college was too important to pass up any opportunities that came her way. “I became an Ambassador the first semester I came here,” she said. “I wanted to be involved on campus, and this may sound cheesy, but I loved being able to show off what Arcadia has to offer to prospective students, families, and friends.”
She played on the women’s field hockey team for a year and a half, but quit for personal reasons. From 2012-2013, she was part of Arcadia’s New Student Orientation team, where she helped incoming first years become acclimated to college life, an experience she’s glad she was able to have. “I don’t really know why I joined in the first place, but the experience was great. Read the Orientation mission statement, and that’s why I joined,” she joked.
As a senior, Amanda had to face the monster awaiting everyone nearing graduation—thesis. But to her, it didn’t seem like something she couldn’t handle. “Thesis wasn’t awful. People hype it up to be this big scary thing, when in reality, it’s not,” she said. “I actually wish I could’ve done more with mine, since the topic was so interesting to me.”
As with many seniors, thesis day was an accomplishment to Schippers. “I was very anxious to present on thesis day,” she recalled. “But I was excited as well. Sharing my accomplishments with my family, friends, professors, and classmates gave me a huge sense of pride.”
Today, Amanda prepares to graduate in mid-May, and the day will be bittersweet without a doubt. “I’m so tired of people asking me how I feel about graduating,” she said with a half- smile. “I’m really going to miss this place I’ve called home for the past four years. I’m nervous about leaving, you know, to go out into the real world, but I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life.”
Schippers stood from the bench and began to pack her things. “So, I guess if there’s one thing you can learn from me, it’s to make the most out of college,” she said. “It’s the last ‘hoo-rah’ before the real world screws everything up! Don’t ever take a minute of the time here at Arcadia for granted. And remember, you’ll leave as you came—nervous and excited, but for different reasons. And the choices you make and opportunities you pursue are what changes those reasons.”