I came to the College in Fall 2001 knowing, more or less, that I could write and seeking a degree that affirmed as much. In a few short weeks, I shall be receiving that degree. If this was the sum of my college experiences, I’d be satisfied. However, it turns out that I’ve gained quite a bit more.
High school was, by and large, four years of mediocrity (three of which were spent in varying stages of depression). From the monotony of the daily grind to the needlessly cruel and complex social hierarchy (damn cliques), its only saving grace seemed to be that it ended and paved the way for things to come.
College, on the other hand, came close to restoring my faith in humanity. Whereas high school was restrictive, college afforded me a great deal of independence. Whereas high school was confrontational, college allowed me to simply ignore people I didn’t like.
And, whereas high school left a distinctly bitter taste in my mouth, I can at least say there were a few memories of college worth keeping.
During my time here, I’ve transitioned from shell-shocked obscurity to a certain level of visibility (all while sacrificing none of my quirkiness). I’m currently a member of four campus organizations and am in a leadership/executive board position within all four.
College affords everyone chances such as these. If I can capitalize on them, then there is no reason why anyone else (on-campus students especially) can’t.
College also provides us with an opportunity for self-discovery. Usually, this takes on a far more subtle form than the life-altering clich?s some of us have come to expect and fear.
Nevertheless, it should be said that this is the time for experimentation. Even if you like the identity you have, there is nothing to be lost by putting it to the test every once in a while.
Finally, college is usually the first place you can expect to begin doing what you want to do for life in a meaningful way. The first steps on career paths are taken here and lifelong journeys/odysseys/obsessions are begun.
For me, this expression revolves around writing. During my time here, I’ve not only improved as a fiction writer (one of my stated goals), but also took a liking to journalism. There were some doubts at first, but sticking with it has proven to be quite rewarding.
Conversely, I know quite a few biology and chemistry majors who are grateful they switched to fields that they ultimately found more satisfying.
I’ve done a lot of antagonizing during my tenure as opinions editor. I can take pride in the fact that I’ve pissed off conservatives, progressives, radical feminists and fundamentalist Christians alike.
If I can get that many people to agree on something (a distaste for my views), I must be doing something right.
In that vein, I would like to thank my columnists for their contributions.
Even when they are dead wrong and their arguments are spurious (at best), they have succeeded in breaking down the barrier of ennui and sparking a debate.
Besides, it’s often more challenging to voice an unpopular view than it is to go along with the status quo.
Thus, on that note, I adjourn and bid farewell to the following: The Signal’s hideous office walls (and not-so-hideous editors), The Siren’s incredible shrinking budget and staff, Bob Cole’s Southern witticisms, housing lottery controversies, Sodexho scandals, ink, Sigma Tau Delta, walking to Bliss Hall in the rain, reading at “the goods,” Direct Connect, never-ending construction and everyone and everything else that has made this worthwhile.
And remember: I may no longer be writing on these pages, but that’s no reason for you cease reading. Question, think, react, respond or else quit wasting precious oxygen.