By: Andrew Utz ~Distribution Manager~
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Damn, college was a rollercoaster. Like a neverending series of ups and downs, and crazy stuff that seemed to come out of every nook and cranny you see.
But you know what? It was the best damn rollercoaster I’ve rode. Or ridden. I suck at grammar.
So where do I put my wisdom in this piece? Is there much wisdom to share? Or am I another one of millions who walked through great times and just continued into adulthood carrying memories?
I have made a lot of memories here at Xavier, good and bad. Such a rollercoaster is what keeps my time here interesting. Xavier has been challenging and mind-opening, making me think differently about the world and showing me how to form my own opinions and thoughts. It takes some time, so don’t think it will happen overnight.
For those of you just finding your footing here, don’t freak out about the little things. There are usually bigger fish to fry, and more than likely the little things get resolved faster if you just give it time. Nothing is going to be perfect, and if you go with the flow, you might find out that perfection is how you perceive the day.
My most perfect day was also one of the worst. And I hate bringing it up, but it was the day Xavier lost to Wisconsin this year. I traveled to St. Louis as part of the Pep Band and hung out with some of the greatest friends I made here. We spent the morning getting a kick-ass breakfast, took our picture with Bill Murray and went to Fitz’s Root Beer for dinner before the game. It was smiles all day, the best few hours we had spent together on the entire trip.
Then the game came. And we all know the result of that.
After the game I was pissed. There wasn’t much I could do, and I knew that, but it was a time where I thought the magic was going to happen. I was going to travel, play and bleed for this team and the school I was representing. Instead, it was cut abruptly short.
Backstage at the Scott Trade Center, the rest of the band was also in a deep funk. Some were crying, while others were just in a daze and wandered listlessly around. I packed my cases (I play the drum set, so I have a lot to pack) with terse words. Wisconsin’s band was coming toward us, and we watched their joyous faces.
“Band, let’s go!”
The words left my lips without a second thought.
We just needed to leave, to get out of there. It was a long walk back to the bus. I loaded the thing, just moving so I didn’t have to stop and reflect. Because reflecting on that game would have led to the bigger “senior” reflection.
Every time someone handed me their instrument, there was a hug. Some were still shocked. Some were crying about how they were going to miss me. It took everything I had to not let loose with them. I needed to keep moving.
At the end one freshman wrapped me in a bear hug and simply said, “Thank you.” He sobbed into my shoulder for a minute, and I realized that my time here was not just a fleeting moment. Instead I had impacted someone’s life, made a difference somewhere and I had the power to do so again.
I wasn’t a hero in any sort of way, and once everything was away I broke down myself outside the bus with two of my best band, friends. My time here was coming to a close. I had a mere month or so of school left. A mere month to think about my extraordinary time here.
There are things I wish never happened, yet can laugh at, like passing out in my friend’s bathroom or having to be helped home after a party. Or memories which I continually look back at asking “What the hell was I thinking?” Taking those in part with the good is like balancing the Force; there are always two sides.
So take every great time that has happened and keep it safe somewhere in your memory bank. Use it to reflect on what great things you’ve accomplished, remember the stupid stuff you’ve done and have a laugh, or look back at what you might have learned from an experience. Because in all of our time here, we are always in class to learn about ourselves.
Thank you to my friends and fellow Musketeers for giving me one hell of a ride.