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COLUMN: Goodbye, Central

Leaving high school was easy.

I’d been preparing for it mentally for 13 years. When I walked across the makeshift wooden stage at H.H. Dow High School, I knew it was time to go, because the public school circle of life had been whispering it in my ear since kindergarten. I shook hands, pocketed my diploma and promptly left town.

College is a different bird entirely. Though a new beginning is just past next Saturday, it brings with it a very self-conscious end. For us seniors, life will irreversibly be changed. No longer will we wake up for class, but for work with a boss to please and payday in mind.

This is a tough pill to swallow. Here on campus, there’s so much more to do, see and explore. I’ve done so much, but leaving college makes me feel that I’ve left the lion’s share of it untouched; never have I published a poem or joined a fraternity. Never have I jogged with the running club, worked in a laboratory or pulled an all-nighter. How that last one slipped past me, I’ll never know.

This results in some bizarre cases of nostalgia. I’ve only now noticed how many books there are in the library, how the pavement feels by Brooks and how the sun looks shining into the SAC. I’m living the last two weeks of my undergraduate career in a full, five-senses technicolor, baby, because I’ve only just realized that I’ll never get a moment of it back.

I am a seaman who has only ever thought about shore leave. All this time, I’ve been peeping over the rail, never setting foot ashore. And now, my ship is sailing. The whistle is blowing, and the crew is casting off.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen a lot of campus life, and after I’ve left, there will still be time for me to explore the world. I’m sure that sooner or later, I’ll get to the bottom of my bucket list. But, it won’t be here, because, right now, it’s time for goodbye and good luck.

So, if I could say anything to the incoming freshmen, I’d tell them to seize more of it all. Go out on Saturday nights. Speak your mind in class and work hard for the things you want. Paint your chest for football games. Be proud of your university—I know I am, and I always will be.

Goodbye, Central. I’ll miss the hell out of you.

7 Comments

  1. Quoting Mr. Thorton Mellon’s graduation speech, “don’t go, it’s ruff out there.”

    Best wishes and welcome on becoming an aulmnus.

  2. michmediaperson says:

    Get out there and start paying taxes!!! I want to retire and I have $30,000 a year in social security coming to me plus medicare. You young people need to get working.

    Your wages won’t be much since there are 11 to 20 million illegals who will do the job for less money. But, that’s your Obama you wanted for president.

    Good luck and start supporting people like me.

    • This article is about us seniors beginning our journey into life. This is not a political piece. I respect your opinion, but ask that you take the time to realize this was not the time nor place for it. Also, your assumption that this person voted for Obama because they are a college student is a bit stereotypical, don’t you think? Remember what happens when you assume…

    • You’ve got to be kidding. I guess you can write the most innocently nostalgic, well-written article, and there’s still going to be someone who needs to turn it into a political statement.

    • Sure, we will. We’ll get there. As soon as we’re done paying off $100,000 in student loans, a $300/mo car payment, the down payment on a mortgage, the monthly mortgage payment, oh, and YOUR retirement fund that we won’t see a cent of when we retire. Bigot.

    • Content CMU Student says:

      Go work till you are 80, or get booted out by a death panel. Dont pretend that your generation had no share in these problems (In fact if you give into stereotypes of youth, why dont you assume none of them vote?). I am bothered by my peers and their ignorance and stupidity at times, as well. However, the fact that you attack an article reflecting about a college experience and tremendous milestone with irrelevant points reflects poorly on you.

  3. michmediaperson is just one of those individuals who is angry and bitter at the world because his/her life didn’t turn out the way s/he wanted it. This person posts often and not just in our paper, and the posts are often bitter and rhetorical. But i’ll tell you what, i’ll graduate, make a decent living as an accountant (something i doubt many “illegals” that come to our country do) and i will choose happiness over maladjusted attitude. Ask me if i care whether you get your benefits or not. Can’t wait until this old generation and its antiquated ideology leaves us.

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