Pflugradt: Take it from me, living life on a whim isn’t all bad


Joseph Barringhaus

Evan Pflugradt walks off the plane in New York on the way to the NIT. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

If you know me well, you know I live life on a whim.

My original plans didn’t include Wichita State. Truth be told, I’m not sure they even included college. I laugh at this now because I simply couldn’t imagine my life without my college experiences.

I arrived at The Sunflower in 2015. Shelby Reynolds hired me as a photographer — a position I was clearly under-qualified for. I had doubts that I’d be even remotely helpful to the staff. When she wanted me as sports editor later that year, I had more doubts. I continued to have doubts when I served as editor in chief the following year. I’d be lying if I said I still don’t have doubts.

If I had one final lesson to my readers, it’s to take chances. None of these incredible opportunities I’ve been afforded the last four years would have been possible had I let fear overcome me.

Bonus lesson: be genuine.

My time at The Sunflower taught me how to see the world around me better. It taught me how to be my own person, to speak up and to ask questions. It taught me how to type a publishable 500-word story in 15 minutes; unfortunately it never taught me how to do so without “angry typing.” It taught me pride, confidence, and self-worth. It taught me to always maintain a sense of humor.

Joseph Barringhaus
Evan Pflugradt types on a computer during a men’s basketball game. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

In weeks, I’ll graduate from Wichita State with my future still in question. Am I scared? Yes, but only because I fear my pranks won’t go over as well in a professional setting. Truthfully, I believe things will all work out. I plan to take time to relax and appreciate the four years I’ve had here at Wichita State. Time has gone by so quickly, I still haven’t made time to enjoy the city as much as I would have liked. Why not now?

It’s hard to express truly how much Wichita State means to me. I moved to Wichita knowing just two people. Today I have great friends who are as close to me as family. Thank you, friends. I cherish you from the bottom of my heart. And thank you, family. Without your support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I really thought I’d be in Wichita for two years — three max. I thought this would all be short-term; I would go to school, go to work, finish quickly and leave Wichita. Here I am now, and I don’t want to leave.

I technically bid you farewell once already, but this time I mean it.

Farewell, friends. May life serve you well.

Courtesy Steve Adelson
Evan Pflugradt, Joseph Barringhaus, and Marshall Sunner pose at center court in Memphis, Tennessee after a game.