By: Grant Vance ~Managing Editor~
In order to avoid opening a reflective piece about my time experiencing the trials and tribulations of collegiate life with a cliché addressing growth and development or lessons learned, I’ll open it with a run-on that references all of these clichés but creates an illusion of awareness toward them so that it remains interesting and relevant to you, dear reader, so that we build a bond of trust and, perhaps, given appropriate circumstance, admiration toward each other, acknowledging we aren’t clichéd broken records longing for a vinyl repair shop and sense of artistic self.
An English student writing 100 words in one sentence for an introduction is an atrocity punishable by the ghost of every writer he’s ever admired (sorry, spectral John Milton), not implying this student has learned much of anything at all. However, my purpose here isn’t to showcase any sort of academic skills acquired during my time at Xavier. You’re bound to pick up a thing or two anywhere if you’re really trying. What I would rather address is the reality that for three years I didn’t think I would be asked to write a senior op-ed for the Newswire I didn’t think I would be able to accomplish much of anything at all.
I came to Xavier in 2012 a connoisseur of Batman and “Hot Rod” quotes and with a misguided sense of what I could do with my life. The most appealing thing at the time would involve some sort of vigilantism or living in a rain forest with my friends. Xavier in itself was running away with friends in a sense (not to mention it uncannily resembles a rainforest), as the only reason I chose it was to go to school with my best friend Max, our intent to take on the world and pursue our youthful dreams of filmmaking. I believed in him, and I believed in our youthful dreams, but I never much believed in myself.
Following freshman year, we established a close group of friends that would shortly dwindle to two: one Kyle “Pancake” Daniels and myself. Max was one of the fallen, and at the time, this was devastating. He transferred to NYU and is doing very well. We are, in fact, still very close.
When he first broke the news, however, I didn’t take it so well. A medley of mental instability and excessive reliance on alcohol led to some poor decisions and increasingly raging internal battle of self-worth.
Bleakness aside, I’ve escaped this particular rut that unfortunately plagued a good deal of my time here. I address it only to relay the important realization that these sort of ruts are very realistic but not inescapable. What they don’t teach you in AP classes is how vulnerable the college atmosphere can make one to such a rut being asked to grow up and find yourself while also making it to class on time every day is impossible.
I left high school an anxious dreamer who had an easier time connecting with movies and “Say Anything” lyrics than with most humans. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is a slight upgrade to my maturity level and a much stronger belief in myself.
My history is rough, and I’ve made an unbelievable number of mistakes along the way, but that’s okay. I’m able to confidently open an op-ed with a run-on sentence as Managing Editor of a publication when I never thought I would be confident writing anything outside Arts and Entertainment. Whoopy-doo. More importantly, I’ve learned I’m capable of achieving a lot more than I ever gave myself credit for; it just took a little push and recovery along the way.
Life is weird, but it’s doable.