Ending the hurry to leave

Get in and get the heck out! For the 20 plus years I have been in school, this has always been my motto.

I didn’t want to be on campus anymore than I absolutely had to be—and if there is one thing out of my seven, yes seven, years of college I regret, this would be it.

I’ve always loved learning, but the classroom setting has never been my forte. I’ve always been an ‘A,’ ‘B’ and sometimes ‘C’ student, but definitely not without complaint.

I grew up in a religious home and at the age of 13 was removed from the public school setting and began seventh grade learning at home. Yes, I was one of those “home-schooled kids.”

Up until then I had always wanted to be home-schooled. Heck, if there was a way to roll out of bed at 10, get my work done by noon and stay in my pajamas all day, I wanted to be signed up.

This enthusiasm didn’t last long however and by my junior year, I was refusing to do my schoolwork. I was always behind and always wanting to just be with my friends, doing teenage stuff. I wanted to be in a club or go to prom. I wanted to be on a sports team or in a play. All opportunities most home-schooled kids miss out on.

Needless to say, when I was 17, I got my wish, although compromised, and got to go to a Christian high school. One of the best school years ever.

After high school, acknowledging what I knew had always been my dad’s wishes, I enrolled in college.

I had always wanted my college degree, but at the beginning I really wondered if I wanted the degree for myself, or if I wanted it for my dad.

Whatever the reason, I kept pushing through; semester after semester I was signed up for classes.
I spent three long years at a junior college, very much like the high school scene I left, and spent most of those years, just going to class and then getting out of there as fast as I could.

After I finished up my general education near home, I applied for one college and one college only: California State University, Fresno. Ah, yes, my college of choice—though nobody understood why.

It was two and a half hours from my hometown and just the perfect distance. Not too far, if my laundry ever became too much for me to handle, yet far enough away that my parents couldn’t just pop in everyday.

Although I was overwhelmed with excitement to start my university years, I soon found myself repeating the same pattern as I had previously set at my last school; getting in and then getting the heck out.

In fact, up until this year, I didn’t even know we had a food court or a student government— ASI what?

I had spent my nearly three years at Fresno State coming to campus, going to classes and then going home.

I didn’t care about getting involved or making friends like I had previously longed for; I just wanted to get my work done and then leave.

And therein lays my biggest regret.

This semester I was blessed beyond words to get hired on with The Collegian. Never had I imagined myself writing for my college newspaper, but there I was, Copy Editor for spring 2009.

I was ecstatic.

As I look back on all my years spent in college, this year has turned out to be like that senior year in high school, the most memorable and by far the most educating.

I learned about student government and how important ASI is to our campus, however dysfunctional it might seem at times. I’ve learned about our on campus police department and how it takes approximately 1 million days to get a simple crime report. I even got to meet the president of our university, John D. Welty—I think I may have been taller than him.

To some, and probably to most freshmen, this could all seem very trivial and maybe even a little stupid or over exaggerated, but let me tell you, it surely is not.

If there is one thing I could tell the freshman, sophomores and juniors of this campus, it’s to get involved.

Don’t just come to campus just to get out as soon as the clock allows.

Join a club or an organization. Get a job on campus. Do something, that in 20 years, you can look back and say “I was a part of that” or “I helped start that.”

Years and years down the road the articles that I have written for The Collegian will still be in the archives. They may be moved to the upper most floor of the furthest building on campus, but they will still be here.

And that is the greatest feeling in the world.

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