Part of our department’s senior send-off included writing our goals and dreams on balloons and releasing them into the sky.
There are how many trees in Abilene? Not that many. Yet my balloon found one of them and was denied its ascent.
As I stood there, surveying the irony of the situation I thought to myself, “This is a pretty accurate depiction of life right now.”
I’m being told to fly, but I’m having a little trouble getting off the ground. And I’m not the only one.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not ready. I’ve made life-long friends, memories and been educated in academics as well as, well, life.
True, there are several things I won’t miss about college. Research papers, the newsroom printer and my upstairs neighbors are just a few examples.
But there are even more things I’m thankful for.
First, as corny as it sounds I am extremely grateful for my education. I’ve learned so much and was blessed with the opportunity to study at a higher level.
Second, I’m thankful for each of my professors, but I’m especially grateful for the faculty and staff of the JMC department. They’ve taught me much more than the inverted pyramid, the First Amendment, how-to videos, shooting in manual and avoiding the Oxford comma. They taught me that everything we do is important and hard work will always pay off in some way.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret: The JMC department has the most fun.
Next, I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to study abroad. It was a life-changing experience (and I mean that literally). I gained so much understanding of the world and how it works. I found myself at home in the city where Wonderland, Middle Earth and Narnia came to life and found myself in the middle of my own personal quest. I saw some amazing things and got to know students who would become some of my best friends.
I am extremely thankful for the various members of the Optimist staff who I have served with over the past three years. Each one of you has put in countless, thankless hours while doing quality work. Together we’ve won awards, shared laughs, created inside jokes, downed endless amounts of coffee, entertained each other during late nights and convinced others that the Don Morris Center is haunted. I’m grateful for the memories and the relationship we’ve shared. I’m so proud of you.
Finally, I will be forever thankful for the friends who have been there for the long haul. There were good days and bad, times of joy and times of terrible loss. Thanks for the spontaneity, the laughter and the support. I never would have made it without you crazy kids.
This column will be my 100th piece published for the Optimist. To say I have spent a lot of time in the newsroom would be an understatement. Nevertheless, I’m proud of the work I’ve done and the effort I’ve put into it.
I’m proud to be graduating from ACU, and I’m exciting to be moving on to something new.
To quote Bilbo Baggins, “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.”