As they prepare for their May 15 Commencement Ceremony, Franklin & Marshall seniors look back at their four years on campus—and what's next.
Name: Justin Kupa
Major: Computer Science
What Town Do You Call Home?: Mount Laurel, NJ
Activities at F&M:
Captain of the men’s basketball team, executive board member of the Benjamin Franklin Financial Service Honors Society, member of the Black Student Union
Your senior year has been unlike any other in F&M’s history. What have you learned about yourself this year?
This year has been unprecedented and not ideal by any stretch of the imagination. While there are events, experiences and opportunities missed due to COVID, I learned quickly that it is important to not dwell on what I am missing, but instead make the most out of what I have. This perspective applies to my senior year, and I will carry this outlook in life post-graduation.
What has been your most memorable moment or time here at F&M?
My most memorable moment at F&M was during my sophomore year where I nailed the game-winning three-pointer as the clock expired against our conference rival Swarthmore. Indulging in the subsequent celebration and embrace of my teammates, in addition to the F&M community at large, is an experience I will cherish forever.
What did you enjoy most about your time at the College?
During my time at F&M, I truly enjoyed interacting with my professors. I appreciate the small class sizes, which allow for stronger bonds and increased interaction. I am always stunned when friends from large colleges say that they have never spoken to their professors when I, on the other hand, am on a first-name basis with all of my professors. Ultimately, at F&M, it is refreshing to be known as a person instead of a mere face in the crowd.
Why did you choose to attend F&M?
F&M was the best opportunity to compete in a highly regarded athletics program while receiving a high-quality education.
What advice do you have for incoming first-years?
To the incoming first-years, I would advise that you all learn to fail. Looking back upon my F&M career, whether messing up in my first “big game” or receiving a subpar GPA freshman year, my failures made me into who I am today. I would not have worked to become an All-Conference athlete if I did not feel the embarrassment of underperforming in the playoffs my first year. Additionally, I would not have acquired a quality work ethic if not for receiving unsatisfactory grades during my first year. These failures lead me to hold myself accountable and do whatever is necessary to not make the same mistake in the future.Failure is an iterative feedback loop illuminating areas for improvement. College is the perfect environment to experiment with failing! I am not perfect, so I continue to fail, but I am "messing up" my way into a better version of myself every day!
What are your plans for after graduation?
Once vaccinated, I plan to travel during the summer before relocating to Atlanta, to work full time as a software engineer for BlackRock, the financial planning company.
"F&M was the best opportunity to compete in a highly regarded athletics program while receiving a high-quality education."