By Daniel Johnson-Kim, Editor in Chief
The driver simultaneously switched the headlights off and cut the engine of his Toyota 4Runner.
Squeezed between two friends in the backseat, I reached back to the trunk and dipped my hand into the mountain of water balloons stacked inside a plastic tub.
We passed around the watery weapons and quietly crept to our rendezvous point – a shrubbery some 20 feet away from two ACU lovebirds in the backseat of a parked sedan.
The bombardment began before the couple had the chance to glance at the dashboard clock to see if they were out past curfew.
Splashes of laughter and water pounded the vehicle’s frame while one young man shined a floodlight in the baffled couple’s eyes. The red-faced Romeo swung open the door in a fury of four-letter words.
We dashed back to the escape vehicle and sped away from Will Hair Park. A mix of adrenaline and smiles filled the SUV as my batch of friends my freshman year celebrated another successful Friday night.
While scouring my brain for memories of my four years at Abilene Christian University, my freshman year water balloon excursions came up first.
I did not remember the hours spent sitting in a classroom.
I did not recollect the late nights spent working in the newsroom.
I did not even think of the heap of debt I accumulated to pay ACU’s tuition.
With three and a half years of experience working on the Optimist staff, this makes sense. The monotony of everyday life seldom makes a good story. Instead, it is the unusual, embarrassing and inspiring – categorize my story how you wish – stories that resonate with people.
When I walk across the commencement stage in Moody Coliseum on Saturday, I will be a step closer to the fruition of a dream I have not shut up about since moving to Abilene: leaving.
I, like some of my fellow students, openly vocalize my distaste for Abilene. Barbecue is not my first choice, the last place you can find me on Sunday is in a church and futbol, not football, is my favorite sport.
But regardless of these self-truths, I would not be who I am today without ACU. I owe this school’s brilliant faculty for my quality education and for helping me mature as a writer, designer, student and man.
Thanks, ACU, and sorry about the water balloons.