5 Best and Worst Things I’ve Done in College

Conor O’Maille is proof that McDaniel College does change lives.

Conor O’Maille is proof that McDaniel College does change lives.

Choosing to go to McDaniel was probably the best decision I made in my college career. It was a lucky one because part of me wanted to go to a big party school. I ultimately chose McDaniel because of the excellent golf program. Going into college I knew I wanted to play golf and that was about all I knew.

The bad thing that goes along with that is I was not open to McDaniel at first and mostly stayed within my small group of golf friends instead of reaching out to other social groups and the rest of the awesome people who attend this college.

After about a year of going here I grew tired of the school and wanted to transfer to a bigger college where there were new faces and better parties. I fell into the whole Hollywood image of college as one big frat party. Eventually I realized that the character of the people who go to your school is what is important and what you should be grateful for.

The good side of this is that my best friend, who was also considering transferring, and I began to visit our friends at big colleges like WVU and JMU. Visiting other schools was a great call. We had a great time at the other schools on the weekends, and the visits helped us realize that McDaniel was the right place for us. The grass may look greener on the other side, but it is better to appreciate where you are now.

During my junior year when I lived in an apartment in Gardens, I met one of the coolest kids in my life. He was a transfer student who got thrown into my five-person apartment. He taught me how to have fun and enjoy McDaniel. He is one of those kids who can have fun wherever he goes and will always be the life of the party. He helped me get out and meet new and amazing people had never known before.

The bad thing about that junior year was I got too into partying and quit the golf team. There were some great kids on the team who had helped me through my first two years of college and a great coach. Ultimately,I had given up my original dream of going to college, but this taught me how to be open and grow during my college years.

My major had been business administration since freshman year and this was a good thing because McDaniel has a great business program and bends over backwards to help you get a job when you graduate. Plenty of internships are available and, with McDaniel’s excellent track record, you are almost guaranteed to land an internship that will look good on your resume.

Unfortunately, I did not do take advantage of that opportunity. But another good thing about McDaniel is that the liberal arts mantra is to explore classes outside of your major. I always loved doing this because switching things up enabled me to learn about new topics and meet other people outside of of my major. This switching also taught me how to stay loose when pursuing a goal and not take myself too seriously. It’s ok to slow down and take a break even if you are learning something off topic of your major.

Finally, my senior year came around and because I had lived down at Ocean City, MD the summer before I was in the party mode and developed a bad case of senioritas. I almost earned myself another year of college.  Talk about a bad thing.

Through all this chaos, however, I was able to somehow have the clarity of mind to go to McDaniel’s career center to find help getting a job after college. The people who work at the career center are amazing; they helped fine-tune resume and helped me find a job. I learned that it is never too late to look around you and start using the tools that you have been given.

My girlfriend has also been a positive influence in my life since I met her halfway through my senior year. I love her and she has helped me through a lot. I learned that good things pop up in your life at any time and to always be expecting them and to not worry about your life after college.

Today I work as a sales associate in a family owned business. I’m applying what I learned in college and, because the company is transparent, I am learning a lot about what it takes to run a business, which has always been a dream of mine.

If you have a plan and goal set that’s great, but don’t worry if you don’t because you will continue to grow and learn more about yourself after college.

Ultimately, college is what you make it and McDaniel definitely gives you the opportunity to soar.

I hope you will live your life by the motto that has come about recently “live what you love.”

McDaniel teaches you how to do this, which is a very rare thing to find in an institution today. This college truly pushes you to be your best and you can be assured you will always have your McDaniel family there for you later on in your life.


(Editor’s Note:  Conor crossed the stage at graduation May 2012).