Mission Hundred Days: Day 64 Lessons from the Bouwhuis Library Basement


Megan Miller and Sana Gadley smiling in the Bouwhuis Library. Credit: Megan Miller

By: Megan Miller and Sana Gadley

Picture it: any obscure corner of the library basement, 2016-2020. You will find Sana and Meg studying, laughing, analyzing paintings, or speaking motivation into the ether. It is in these spaces that we have grown both as individuals and as friends. These walls, however dirty, hold our secrets, our triumphs, our failures, and have seen our tears: both happy and sad. 

We have grown much since our first encounters in the Urban Leadership Learning Community (ULLC). If you know us, you would know that our strangeness is shared and highly valued by the both of us. Our shared experiences have inspired us to often give unsolicited advice, so for once, we were asked to. We’ve included here some of the lessons it took us many moons to learn ourselves. We hope that from these library basement lessons, you are able to circumvent some of the challenges we’ve faced these past eight semesters.    

Meg’s Advice: “Sorry I can’t, I’m studying” cannot always be your excuse. It took me three years to learn this. Once I stopped using this excuse, I was able to partake in many impromptu dinner runs, delirious midnight rambles in the library, and a plethora of movie nights. Most importantly, I was able to share countless laughs with the people I love most. I quickly learned that I value these memories more than 10-hour days on the quiet floor of the lib. 

College can be an unhealthy environment for body and soul, and self care often takes a backseat to… everything else. Make self care a priority! If that means finally making that appointment at the Counseling Center or entering the gym for the first time, then so be it. The first step is often the most difficult, so reach out to your support system if you need that extra boost of confidence! 

Sana’s Advice: For some time, I felt as though one’s collegiate identity here could be summarized with answers to the following: “Who do you know?” “What e-boards are you on?” and “What have you done?” As a result of this, every fall I’d find myself investing my time in yet another part of our campus community. This continued for two years, until I realized I could not honestly say I enjoyed the things I was doing. My point is, you are worth more than the titles you carry and no one is lesser than for their lack of. Your only true competition is yourself, who cares what other people are doing? Be chill. 

In four years, you are bound to make mistakes, hurt feelings, and do things you wish you had not. Despite that, the late great Aaliyah once said “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” Mistakes will be made. So long as you acknowledge them and take the initiative to resolve the issue (including when the issue is you), you’ll be better off. Do not be like Kanye West. The “can’t tell me nothing” mentality only causes more damage instead of the mending of bridges. 

Not to break your heart, but your major means nothing. Your studies, internships, and activities are important… but your major as a “title” isn’t everything. What is more important is what you gain from this. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll be valuable to the workforce if you live and breathe your major, but you certainly will not be as valuable to the world as someone who actively learns and lives beyond the 120 credit hours. Individual development beyond your course of study is what should be the goal of liberal arts education. If this sounds like a personal attack, we mean no harm. However, if you cannot carry a conversation beyond your major… good luck Charlie.

Now that we have given you the tools to successfully carry out the remainder of your time here, let’s have some fun! With any classic tale of friends who overcome challenges, like the Breakfast Club, for instance, there are departing gifts that symbolizes said friendship. Are you following? We tend to ramble. Regardless, don’t be afraid to shoot the shit.

As a token of our friendship to you, the reader, we leave you with a dozen of our favorite songs: songs that define us both as individuals, and as a collective on the same wavelength.

Take a Trip with S&M**not that… it’s our initials!

Ari Lennox – New Apartment

Rihanna – Man Down 

J. Cole – Crooked Smile

Stevie Wonder – As

Childish Gambino – Stand Tall

Drake – Summer’s Over Interlude

Drake – Pop Style

Kendrick Lamar– HUMBLE.

Da Baby – Bop

J. Cole – No Role Modelz

Big Sean, Jay-Z, and Kanye West – Clique

Young Money ft. Lloyd – Bedrock

** Please listen to this music in its most explicit form** 

Sana Gadley is a senior majoring in international relations and international business with a minor in Spanish. While at Canisius she has participated in two international immersons, been a member of various clubs, and has held two internships. 

Megan Miller is a senior majoring in animal behavior, ecology, and conservation and environmental studies. She has held positions in various clubs, conducted independent research within the ABEC department, and will be studying primates in Cambodia after graduation. Both ladies are proud members of the ULLC Program.

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2lol0GhxZZmg1bLFYlPHpm

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