Farewell To Wichita State

Column

It’s official — in three days, all the late nights of paper writing, early morning classes and last minute cram sessions will be behind me.

But as I leave Elliott Hall — my home away from home — for the last time, I will not go empty-handed.

Though I now enter the real world where school loan debt awaits me, I have gained much from my time at Wichita State. Here are the three most important, intangible benefits I’ve gained from college life.

A sense of adventure

I’ve never been what one might consider daring. But I learned, by challenging myself, that there is truth in the phrase: “It’s the journey, not the destination.”

The first step was quitting my full-time job to become a full-time student, a move that put me in a state of nearly crippling panic. However, six months later, I found myself in the locker room of the Oklahoma City Thunder at Intrust Bank Arena as a sports intern, all because I took a leap of faith.

Life is full of surprises. I never could have imagined the things I’d accomplish by pushing past the internal fear.

Take advantage of unexpected opportunities. Don’t let fear hold you back.

A sense of purpose

If it weren’t for my newfound sense of adventure, I never would have participated in the Flint Hills Media Project.

During the project, I discovered my true passion for the written word. It took a change of major, three internships and a few detours, but I finally found what I was born to do.

Don’t be afraid to change your mind along the way. It may take a bit longer in school and a few more dollars, but happiness is worth it.

A sense of self

Perhaps most importantly, in the last two years, I figured out who I want to be and how to do it.

With a new sense of purpose, the desire for new adventures and the determination to push aside fear, I feel ready to conquer whatever awaits me.

Because I pursued different challenges and conquered them, I hold my head higher. I’m surer of who I am, what I’m doing and what I want in life.

There are still innumerable unanswered questions around the next corner, but I welcome them with open arms.

I may be tearful as I walk out of Elliott Hall on Wednesday, but I will do so knowing it’s not the end. It’s just the beginning of a beautiful, new adventure.