This was not a part of my plan, thankfully

Jack Dunn is a senior sports management major. He is a Campus News Editor for the Newswire from Wilmette, Ill. He has been a part of Newswire for four years. 

I had a plan. 

I was going to visit Rome for the first time in nearly 10 years. I was going to have an easier school workload this semester and take classes that I was genuinely interested in. I was going to find a job in a field that I have been obsessed with my entire life. I was going to enjoy my last few months with the community that I love before marching into the unknown that is the future. 

I even had an idea of what I was going to write for my senior op-ed. But I guess that even the simplest of plans will have to change. 

In a lot of ways, the way things feel to me now is very similar as to how I felt the night before my first day of Manresa. 

I had a plan then too. I had just finished working the summer in a leadership position at my favorite place in the world, Camp MaKaJaWan. I was going to use the skills I had learned living away from my family and apply them to the new adventure that was freshman year. 

Halfway through the journey between Chicago and Cincinnati, my family and I got rear-ended on the highway. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but it left me shaken and in a state of deep thought. I had almost my entire life in that car, from almost all of my possessions to the people I love the most. And I had almost lost all of it. 

I’m having some of the same thoughts these days as I did on that warm summer night. Disbelief. Nerves. Uncertainty. 

Despite things not going to plan, I can now look back with certainty and know that these past few years at Xavier have been the best of my life. I’ve made new friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I got to know my professors on a personal level, who helped me find a passion and career path that was best for me. I’ve had unique experiences that I know I wouldn’t have had anywhere else. I’ve discovered new interests that I might not have taken up otherwise if I hadn’t come here. Hell, I’ve even lived one of my earliest childhood dreams: sitting behind home plate of a Cubs World Series game and eventually watching them win! 

All these experiences and joys came after that night of total uncertainty. Now, I’m feeling a similar level of uncertainty as we go forward into the future. 

But for some reason this feeling of uncertainty doesn’t scare me as much now as it did back then. I now know that even in the face of that feeling of uncertainty there is hope and there are good things to come. That while things may be scary and bleak now, things can get better. I know that I will be able to enjoy life with the people I love while doing what I love. 

So I want to take time to thank those in the Xavier community who helped me realize that while the road ahead is unknown it will still be possible for me to enjoy the journey.

Thank you sport studies professors, who helped me go from “exploratory” to a major that I am passionate about. Thank you Club Water Polo, who helped me continue a sport that I love and make new lifelong friendships all four years. 

And thank you Newswire. Thank you for more than just helping me become a better writer in all sorts of topics. Thank you John, for encouraging me to take that next step from staff writer to page editor and getting me to write outside of the sports page. 

Last but certainly not least, thank you editorial staff. Tuesday nights became something I looked forward to every week. While things may not have always gone according to plan, the friendships we forged creating this paper every week are some of my favorite memories. Those nights will be what I miss most about Xavier and my biggest regret is that they were cut short. 

I’m glad things didn’t go according to plan.