“Aprovecha." This is a word that I heard almost constantly when I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain, this past semester. It translates directly as “take advantage,” but really is a command to “seize the day.” The Sevillanos use it in almost every context; you buy a coffee and the waitress says “aprovecha” instead of the typical “adios.”
As I’ve reflected back on my four years in college, I’ve come to realize that “aprovecha” is something that Witt has taught me to do every day. In the past four years, I’ve served as budgeting & assessment chair of Union Board, treasurer of the class of 2018, Student Center programming manager, student representative for the Teaching Effectiveness Committee, Student Organization Senator, and Delta Gamma House manager. When I wasn’t partaking in my various campus involvement activities, I was working studiously as an undecided major… then as a nursing major… and finally, as a Spanish and finance double major. Needless to say, I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity that Wittenberg has offered me and would like to provide my four years of sleep deprivation as proof.
Wittenberg has a way of challenging your beliefs and pushing you to improve yourself, not only academically, but also personally. It is in this way that I have taken the most advantage. My friends from high school tell me that I am unrecognizable in the best way, and I credit everyone here for transitioning me from a moody and self-conscious freshman to a confident and spirited senior.
Now, in my last semester of college, “aprovecha” has taken on a new meaning. I’d rather take advantage of the strong relationships that I’ve made marching around campus at night or gossiping at the front desk [in the Admission Office]. Thus, instead of filling my time with student organizations and hours of studying, I’m spending more time laughing with my friends, conversing and learning from my mentors, and still not getting any sleep.
After graduation, Wittenberg will have given me much more than just a degree: it will have given me the ability to be convicted in myself; it will have given me a second mother (Michell Wilke, receptionist and campus visit coordinator for the Office of Admission); it will have given me lifelong friends. I plan to use the skills that Wittenberg has given me by passing my light on to others through a year of service in Central or South America. Although I’m not sure what the future will hold after this, you can be sure that I will continue to do as Wittenberg has taught me, and “aprovecha.”
Irene Presper ’18
Majors: Spanish and Finance
Hometown: Akron, Ohio