Thursday, April 12, 2007

Graduation

And you walk across the stage, take a bow, hear the applause,
and as the curtain falls, just know you did it all
the best that you knew how and you can hear them cheering now.
So let a smile out and show your teeth cause you know you lived it well.
-Saves the Day

Assuming the best case scenario for the next 3+ weeks, I will be graduating from college at the end of May. This is terrifying. I would like to say that I really milked the college experience for all it was worth and got my money's worth, but I have a hard to buying into that. The other night as I was walking home from Eaton at a particularly ungodly hour I stopped on the library roof and looked out over the city. It was a really beautiful view and for whatever reason triggered me to start thinking about my time here at school and what exactly I have accomplished. Here's what I came up with:

Academically: This is by far the least impressive of the areas. Not only did I rarely exhibit my full effort in any class or study area, but I rarely put forth 85% effort on many tasks. On the surface, one could look at my transcript and argue that I did pretty well here and that my grade decrease from High School to College can be chalked up to adjustment to collegiate life (initially) and commitments to the team (later on) as well as the academic standard here being infinitely more challenging than my high school. While that's very intriguing and valid on some levels, I know that it's total bullshit and that I just didn't try as hard as I could/should have and I rarely, if ever, took a class that would challenge me or expand my horizons because I was scared of failing.

NEWS FLASH: That's the point of college. Try shit out, fail, fuck up six ways from Sunday and take some risks. That way, when you leave and go to get a job and start a life you are prepared for a wide variety of life's inevitable
curveballs and you know what success and failure is like and what you are capable of. Me, all I learned here was that I can still cut corners with the best of them, the path of least resistance and I are still well acquainted and I can drink a lot of beer. Certainly not what my parents expected of me when they sent me off here and footed the bill, nor what I expected of myself coming in.

Athletically: I experienced a lot of success early on in this area and went from no name walk on to bona fide ace prospect. Of course, I then let the aforementioned penchant for beer and other poor decisions hamper my next two years or so of competition and was wildly erratic both on and off the track. Fortunately for me, I was able to get back on course this year and realize some of that potential and actually put an honest effort into something over the long term and it paid off. Hopefully this will translate into a willingness to work hard at a job in the future and not look for the shortcut. I was pleased that I was able to achieve my initial goals almost across the board here, and while I sometimes wonder where I might have gotten had I not sabotaged those middle two years, I feel like that was an important part of the journey too.

Socially: I feel like I made a lot of great friends here and that I met a lot of cool people during my four years and I only wish I had more time to spend with them. It seems that only now am I realizing the value of great friends and cultivating lasting relationships instead of looking for training partners or drinking buddies. Better late than never, I suppose. One of my only regrets here is that I didn't branch out more outside of my "comfort zone" for friends and that some of the friends I did make have moved on to other places and I have failed to keep in touch. I always told myself that I wouldn't become one of those "out of sight, out of mind" friends, but I fear that that is exactly what I am becoming.


Having made these realizations now means I have about another month+ to work on the
aforementioned shortcomings. Hopefully I'll be able to make some progress, especially with the schoolwork left in my push towards a diploma. I didn't necessarily post this up here for anyone other than myself, but if it can serve as a lesson or a guideline for anyone that happens to read it than so be it.

2 comments:

bach said...

cleveland,

i really enjoyed reading this. blog more.

bach said...

last comment didn't come up for some reason.

just wanted to say i really enjoyed reading this.