Reaching the finish line: farewell from a fellow Spartan

It’s bittersweet to think that this could be the very last thing I write for the paper, knowing that in a few weeks my time as a Castleton student will be over. So buckle up kiddos, because we’re about to hit an emotional road trip and I need to finish this before I start crying all over my keyboard.

My first semester was definitely one of the most memorable times of my college career for the sole fact that I was motivated beyond what I felt were healthy human limits. I found that nothing could distract me. Not even Netflix.

Which is ironic because I binged 4 seasons of Shameless last week.

College taught me how to adapt quickly, crank out paper after paper, and manage my time a little more effectively. But college also taught me how to productively binge-watch and game to keep the ungodly levels of stress and burnout from taking over.

I vividly remember President Wolk’s first address to us where he mentioned that there have been many students that have flunked out because their new-found college freedom led them to endless hours of gaming and distractions.

I’m not a particularly rebellious person, but I remember thinking “You wanna bet?” followed by the thousands of hours clocked into both gaming and binge-watching over the course of my 4 years here. I wish I had an exact number because I bet it would both disappoint and impress Wolk and my parents considering the 3.9 GPA.

My time with the Spartan newspaper has been filled with new experiences, friends, many sighs, and a team of people that are dedicated to the content they love to produce. The paper was an opportunity to explore the “swiss-army-knife” approach that I’ve had to myself and education. I never found that I only wanted to focus on one thing; but rather to expand my knowledge and experience across the many Communication concentrations.

I have to thank my professors for supporting my diverse approach, especially Professor Talbott and Blow for being major influences regarding my success and growth in both my educational and personal lives. I can’t say thank you enough for how much I appreciate the time I’ve spent learning from the two of you. And I can’t forget a shout-out to Sam Green for literally everything and then some.

Well there goes my tear-free keyboard.

Juggling both school and a photo business was not something I was prepared to handle when both began to demand more involvement. And it was at this time in the spring of my junior year that I finally burned out mentally and physically. My physical and mental health were struggling to keep up with school, work, and the loss of our 15-year-old Labrador.

I wasn’t eating very much. I was staying up and sleeping late. And I was struggling to find the motivation to maintain the balance of everything. My GPA slipped from the 4.0 that I had spent 5 semesters building, down to the 3.9 range; which in hindsight is still something to be incredibly proud of, and looking back it seems like a silly thing to dwell over.

And then senior year hit and anxiety was through the roof. According to my friends and family, I’ve pretty much always been an anxious person, so this was never anything new. But around times of major transitional periods, the feelings of anxiety would be multiplied. Which I knew always ended with a new sense of productivity and direction.

So here I am, less than 30 days away from graduation, and I’m shaking in my metaphorical boots about what I’m going to do after getting that sweet sweet piece of paper. Not because I don’t feel prepared, but because there are so many different things I’m interested in doing that it’ll be hard to choose.

I guess I already have that problem with all the shows I’m trying to catch up on. But the nice thing about having an abundance of options to choose from is that the solution is pretty straightforward; I’ll get around to all of them eventually.

I’ll see you around, Castleton, I have some shows to start.

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