October 26, 2014

Back to school

Posted 8/23/10

Man, I can’t believe it’s here. School is starting again.

It’s time to pay for my classes, get books, and … wait. I am not going back to school.

After two decades of doing everything from finger painting, to studying about psychology as it applies to work, I am done.

I guess the feeling of graduating never really hit me until this week. My last few summers have all been busy, but at the end it was always time to go back to class.

School was never a personal favorite of mine. I really hated studying. I hated sitting in class, especially when fall and spring are starting. But as I write this column, I am starting to realize that school was not all that bad. Sure it was a pain, but it was a big part of my life.

All of those years of schooling got me to this point, and I think that I am going to miss it.

I think back to all the great times I had in high school and college and I realize that those days are gone, and I may not get them back.

Sometimes I wish I could at least try college one more time. I think I would have been more open to experiencing all of it, instead of being annoyed by it.

The last six months of my college career were the toughest academically for me, but I feel like the challenge was rewarding.

I never pressed myself in school like I did when I got to the end. I was always a 12-to-14-credits-per-semester student. I mean, seriously, who wants to work hard all the time? Due to some credit transfer issues and some minor slacking, I needed nine credits to graduate after the spring semester this year. I decided to crunch those nine credits into a condensed six-week schedule. I was in for the challenge of my life.

Right out of the gate I began to struggle. I was not used to a workload of that nature. All 16 weeks of classes were crammed into this six-week schedule. Weekly exams and one monster research paper consumed me.

After week three, I was certain that I was going to fail a class for the first time. When my back was against the wall, I learned who I was. I discovered that I am not a quitter, and that no matter what the odds are, I will find a way to succeed. That has transferred to my job here at the paper. I think without that experience, I would never survive today.

Although academically school was a challenge, personally it became rewarding. There is one experience I am forever thankful for doing. In January, I was asked by a friend to be a part of her project, The Graduation Bucket List. This girl was going to write articles for CMU’s magazine about a group of friends who completed a list of things to do before graduating.

I can still remember reading the e-mail asking me if I wanted to complete this list of goals before graduating. I said to myself, “Dude, why not?”

What a great way to try new things and get out of the box I put myself in. I got to do things that other students may never get the chance to do. Like, meet the president of Central Michigan University, tour the tunnels, be on the radio, so many fun things. It was a great way to go out.

As I think back to who I was last year at this time and who I am now, I feel like a totally different person.

So if any student out there is reading this, feel free to take this advice. Leave no stone unturned. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, and cherish it all. Who knows? In the end you might find something that you love. I know I did.

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