So as graduation season is upon us I thought it would be a good time for a re-run of sorts. This is the last column I wrote for the Wartburg Trumpet, my college newspaper at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. I'm not sure it is full of life changing advice, but it certainly has stood the test of time (well 11 years worth of time anyway), at least in the mind of this writer.
The FINAL Column
Wartburg Trumpet, May
By: Chris Thomas
This is the day that I have been dreading since I started writing for the Trumpet three years ago. Ladies and gentlemen, this is my last column.
So since I am down to my last 500 words or so, what I am going to say? After all, this is the big one. The column to beat all columns. The final words of the retiring writer (retiring only from this paper, be on the look out for me elsewhere).
I thought about writing about the cafeteria one last time, but decided that was too easy. I contemplated speaking with you about the ROTC or the Controller’s Office, but everyone knows where I stand on those issues. I even debated if I should just write about nothing at all. Sort of the “ramblings of a mad man,” to close things out. However, I choose none of these topics. Instead, I am writing about life.
As a member of the class of 2001, I have been thinking about life a lot recently. By life, I mean I have been thinking, “what the heck am I going to do with mine?” I have a funny feeling that I am not the only senior (or junior, sophomore or freshman) thinking about this either. Now that college is over, what do I do? Where do I go from here?
I’ve applied for jobs. I applied to graduate school. I even thought about moving to Mexico and getting a job serving drinks on a beach. I thought maybe I should take a year off and find myself. But then I realized that finding yourself is not a valid reason to defer your loan payments.
When it is all said and done however, come Sunday I am finished. Whether or not I have a job, a place to live, or if I have found myself, I am done at Wartburg College. Come next fall I will not be moving back into Swensen House (and for the last time people, Swensen is spelled with two E’s). I will not return to the airwaves of KWAR and what is going to be the toughest reality, I will not be hanging out with all of my friends I have made during the past four years.
For the most part, we are all going are separate ways. Sure, some of us might end up in the same city or area, but it won’t be the same. We will have jobs, responsibilities, and bills to pay. We will have lives.
It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that I remember saying, “I can’t wait to grow up.” Now that it is here, I wish I could wait. When you are 13 and full of teen angst, growing-up sounds like a great idea. When you are 22 and graduating college, the thought of being 13 again sounds like an excellent idea.
So here we are, the final words from me to you. What are they going to be? Will they be profound? Enlightening? Maybe even religious? Nope. I just have some simple advice from me to you. Whatever you decide to do with your life, remember the only person responsible for you is you. If you want to get drunk and pass out on your lawn that’s fine. But remember, someone may have a camera. Whatever you do, think before you act and be ready to face the consequences or reap the rewards. Basically, just live life to the fullest.
Chris Thomas is a full-time teacher, part-time freelance writing, father of three, and most importantly, a very, very tired man.
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