Following our first staff meeting here at the Houstonian, I walked outside, preparing to leave for home, when I saw something that isn’t all that common to a city boy like me. On the side of a brick column in front of the Dan Rather communications building there was an exoskeleton remaining from some kind of beetle that had recently molted. I stood and looked for a few interesting minutes and at the time didn’t think much about it. After all, I knew it was a rather common natural occurrence.
However, today, the beginning of a new (and my final) semester here at Sam, I started to think a little more about what I had seen and I came to realize that in a way my own college experience, and that of many others, echoed the same story of the beetle.
We all come to college ready for new experiences and expecting our lives to change. In a way, we expect to be that beetle, shedding our old self for a new one. Unfortunately, not all of us will come out of molting with a new and improved persona. Indeed, sometimes people change for the worse in college.
So the question we must ask ourselves is what kind of beetle we want to be. Those of us that have been in college for a few years have likely seen both the good and bad sides of college experiences. We don’t always take the high road or stay on the straight and narrow, but hopefully most of us haven’t gotten too caught up in less then desirable activities.
So for those of you that are just now entering into this brave new world of adulthood, don’t be afraid to cut loose and have a little fun. College won’t last forever, and the closer I get to graduation the more appreciative I’ve become of the great times I’ve had and will still have and of the even greater friends I’ve known and have yet to meet.
But at the same time, never be afraid to say ‘no’ to something or someone that you know isn’t right for you. Strive to find a balance that allows you to have fun and grow as a person while not compromising your integrity. Don’t treat college as the beginning of a new life but rather use the new and great experiences you’ll have here at Sam to build on to who you already are. In other words, try not to forget who you are but also try not to forget who you will be.
So, fellow Bearkats, remember that when our beetle friend molted, he didn’t emerge fundamentally different. In the same way, make sure that you grow for the better before flying off into the world, just in the same way that the beetle did, and just in the same way that one day all of us will.