COLUMN: Leaving CM Life behind, but not really


At 19 years old, I was desperate to leave community college and my parent’s house and start my life at Central Michigan University. Now, at 23, I am desperate to be done with college. 

I never want to do another homework assignment again.

As I go into my last week of college ever (I hope), I’m experiencing a mix of excitement, overwhelming stress and sadness. 

Looking back at my time at CMU, I think about the indecision I felt when deciding what I wanted to do with my life. For a long time, I didn’t know if I would be able to attend college. As someone with a learning disorder, the long, stifling days spent jumping between six different subjects was the worst possible environment for me. I barely passed high school, only succeeding in classes where I was able to express myself like choir and writing. 

In college, I had the freedom to control my schedule and the subjects I learned about. Since I transferred to CMU in 2018, I have made the dean’s list every semester.

As a kid, I loved reading fiction and writing short stories, but K-12 ruined my love of writing for a long time. It wasn’t until high school when I took a creative writing class that I realized writing had to be a part of my life. 

In college, I went through phases. I wanted to write fiction, then magazine features. Eventually, I found my way to Central Michigan Life. 

I fell in love with journalism. For the first time, I felt right. I’m confident that this is what I am meant to do.

I would not have found this confidence or self-esteem without CM Life.

I’m one of the lucky graduates who is leaving CMU with a job and a plan, all thanks to my experience and connections at CM Life (look for my work as the business reporter for the Petoskey News-Review in January). 

Even with that security, the idea of leaving college and being on my own is terrifying. College was adulthood with a safety net. 

Now, the net is coming off. 

I’ll be taking over my phone payment, rent, car insurance, health insurance and all the other expenses that come with being on my own. (At least I still have my parent’s Netflix login.)

Even though I’m terrified, I think I can do it. 

I survived high school. I survived college, even though I never thought I could. 

CM Life has given me the experience I need to go into the journalism world and succeed. Struggling through my education with a learning disorder taught me hard-headedness and determination.

CM Life gave me a community of people who support me and celebrate my wins. People who accept my scattered brain and help me on the days I struggle to get out of the fog. 

I am incredibly proud of the work I have done at CM Life and grateful for the opportunity to provide a service to the CMU and Mount Pleasant communities.

CM Life defined my college experience. As I prepare to leave, I can’t help but think of myself as a CM Life alum first and a CMU alum second.

I will always be connected to CM Life. I plan on being a loyal reader and an active alum. 

So on Dec. 17 I'll be leaving the paper I love, but not really.