By Maximillian C. Burgos
Everyone has a defining moment in life. A moment when you sit back and take account of everything that has happened, and figure out where to go moving forward. Sometimes one can feel overwhelmed by this moment of uncertainty in their lives. It is disorientating to say the least.
Some life-defining moments are dramatic and awe-inspiring. Others are more subtle and have more internal consequences.
My defining moment came early in my sophomore year. I was at an all-time low in almost all aspects of my life. I was broke, and I felt isolated, alone and lost here at the College. I spent some nights in sheer terror wondering how I was going to pay some of my bills or keep up with my classes.
I felt the walls of every room was closing in on me and felt like my world was actually ending. For a moment in time, I thought that college wasn’t for me and that I should just get a job and live check-to-check like many of my family members. I felt like I was not meant to do anything special with my life, and being poor was just something I would have to get used to.
I felt a constant squeeze in my day-to-day functions. I felt like everyday that I spent on campus was another day wasted on inadequacy and mediocrity. In my mind, it came down to two choices — leave college and forever wonder what I could have amounted to, or pick myself up and give it one last push.
Obviously, since you are reading this, I made the second choice. I chose to tackle college with every last scrap of defiant will I had left. My first steps were to seek out people that could help me. I went to CAPS and got into an amazing group that gave me an outlet to talk about the problems that I was encountering at home and at school. I also reached out to the Center of Student Success where I was received with open arms, essentially saving my academic career.
Eventually I switched majors. I couldn’t stand being an engineer any longer. My passion is writing. Suffering through hours of what felt like pointless science classes had become agonizing. I did not connect with any professors in the engineering program and upon leaving, I could not have felt more relieved.
I made the shift to interactive multimedia and I haven’t looked back since. One thing led to another and I started writing for The Signal in February 2017. To say it was a good choice is an underrated statement. Covering sports for the paper gave me a chance to further my love for sports.
I don’t play football anymore but covering it allows me to experience highs and lows alongside the College’s team, something that I miss feeling firsthand on the field.
I’m not going to get all cheesy and say that The Signal saved my life because it didn’t, but it did help me find a new way to do something I really like doing. Being an editor and staying up for hours on Sunday and Monday night is not fun, but telling the stories of each game through my articles has been a magical experience for me.
I’ve always loved to write, and being able to share my stories with the students here at the College is special. Seeing your name in black ink is just a feeling that I cannot really describe with words. It just feels good. It feels right.
In this last year, I went from feeling like I didn’t belong here at the College to feeling like there is hope for me and my future. For the first time, I belong here at the College and The Signal played a part in that.
After everything’s all said and done, some of my fondest memories will be watching our teams and putting out those stories for everyone to read. Some of those memories will even include being in The Signal office to the crack of dawn working on the newspaper.
I don’t know if I can say I’ve grown close to the people in the office, but being a staff member has been an interesting experience — even if most of my time in the office has been spent in a sleep-deprived delirium.