Graduating seniors reflect on NOLA


Caleb Beck

Rachel Dufour, chemistry and psychology major, boards the streetcar to the next locale in the city. Graduating this spring, Rachel is excited to explore more aspects of the city before leaving town.

Davis Walden

As seniors approach graduation, several have reflected on their college accomplishments and what they wish they would have experienced living in New Orleans.

Amelia Seidel, English senior, said that she’s in no rush to check off every activity the city has to offer her.

“There are tons of things that I don’t even know that I’m missing out on, but I think that taking every opportunity would restrict the consistency or repeated experiences needed to establish yourself in a place because that would be too surface level, so I’m glad that I haven’t done everything in the city.”

Bob Thomas, Loyola chairman in environmental communication and professor of mass communication, has compiled bucket list booklets called “Going Local: Things You Gotta Do In NOLA” to guide transplant students in experiencing the city to its fullest.

“I saw two students of mine in Jean Lafitte Nature Preserve canoeing on a Friday night, and when I asked them what they were up to, they told me this was one of many new activities they needed to try. Knowing that, I decided to make a list of activities like these so other students could follow suit,” Thomas said.

Peter Herrick, political science senior, and former president of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, said keeping busy throughout his four years has allowed him to see aspects of the city he wouldn’t have enjoyed otherwise.

“From job assignments at polling stations and volunteer projects in the Lower 9th Ward and New Orleans East to bike rides through Mid-City to the lakefront, I’ve gotten to see just about every part of the city,” Herrick said.

Caitlin Cordano, theater arts senior said that she regrets not getting more involved with volunteer work in the city but justifies that with the level of campus involvement she took on.

“Sometimes I wish that I got more into community service, because I didn’t get to see the side of New Orleans that really needs our help,” Cordano said. “Granted, I did participate in Spark and other LUCAP organizations and service learning, but I wish I could’ve done more.”

Herrick said he encourages younger students to take on all manner of things to do while coming to New Orleans in order to become enveloped in its culture.

“Explore, but don’t be a tourist. Engage with the community on a deeper level, but try not to get bogged down in a square mile,” Herrick said. “Get out there and take advantage of the amazing opportunity that is living in New Orleans.”

Seidel said New Orleans still holds promise for her after she graduates in May.

“There is a future for me here if I want it. I can see it unfold in front of me right now: what companies I’d work for and possible trajectories my career would take, and they’d all be good and fun and fulfilling,” Seidel said. “And I think that New Orleans is my forever home but forever doesn’t have to start right now.”