Writing through the years

Since the day my first-grade teacher introduced me to the world of books, I have been reading and writing. I can still remember the day Miss Finnerty looked at me and told me I would be an author when I grew up.

That was at least 16 years ago and a lot has changed, but my love for written language never has.

The two full bookshelves that I furnished my small apartment around and the box of used notebooks, journals and scrap paper under my bed attest to this fact. I rarely open the box under my bed, but in the search for some old notes I opened the box last night. I did not find what I was looking for, but I did find what I really needed — a reminder that everything and nothing has changed.

The box was full of old journals. I read random entries from my college years and couldn’t believe how idiotic some of my decisions and beliefs were only a year ago. While many people doodled flowers and stick figures during classes I wrote ramblings about life or stories about nothing. I can remember exactly where I was sitting and what was occurring in my life when I read every scribble, even some that I wrote back in high school. That box of randomly written nonsense is the story of my life, told in a way that only I can understand.

As I read through years of writing I remembered old friends, felt pain as if it were fresh and laughed at every childish belief I innocently held about the world.

The crazy thing is that while I have overcome so many challenges, especially during the past four years of school, I still struggle with many of the same issues and deal with everything, good and bad, through writing.

In high school, I thought college would just be academically challenging. I didn’t realize that college would challenge and stretch me in ways I could not have imagined. I have learned more about friendship, life and myself than I knew there was to learn.

In just a few short days, I will be done with college and officially begin my journey into the mystical concept commonly called the “real world.” I have plans, I have goals, and I have dreams, but I have no idea what will actually happen when I leave this university. If my past writings have any reflection on the present and future, I can only imagine that I will continue to write as I have always done, and that even though I feel like the past four years have stretched me to my limits, there will continue to be stretching and new limits to be discovered.

I am sad to see an end to my undergraduate college career. I am also sad to see an end to my time on staff at the Champion. The past year has been an amazing opportunity, and I will miss the craziness, the late nights, and random conversations about words and grammar that only journalists high on coffee can appreciate. Most of all, I will miss the family I became a part of, and that has become a part of me. When I open that same box five years from now, I don’t know where I will be, or even who I will be, but as I sit there and read about the times I shared with friends and staff members, and look through all the articles I wrote, I know that nothing but good memories and valuable lessons about life and journalism will resurface.

So now, I take my leave and will begin writing the first words of the rest of my life.

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