What does Ferris Bueller say?
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Well, that’s kind of how I feel about college and working at the Daily. Four years at the University and three years of working here at the paper went by quicker than I ever thought possible. So here I am now with my last piece of “journalistic” writing, wondering what happened to my undergrad years.
Chances are you’ve seen way too many of these goodbye columns before. You probably think you know how they go, at least for people leaving this specific paper. And, if I was doing one of those, I would probably talk about how much the Daily has meant to me over the past three years. How I’ve met so many good friends and people that I never imagined meeting when I first dragged myself into the Student Publications Building in the fall of 2003.
I would talk about all the interesting, completely unusual moments I’ve gotten to cover and take part in by simply being a “reporter for The Michigan Daily.” I could talk about road trips, almost getting fired after the Madison game, nightsides, unbelievable games and all kinds of stuff, but I don’t want to do one of those “glorify Daily Sports” columns.
Or, I could do one of those columns where I thank lots of people that helped me get where I am today, for better or for worse. I would have to start with my parents, since they’ve been, by far, the most influential people in my life and have footed the bill for out-of-state tuition that everyone and their dog knows isn’t worth the money. Yet, they paid that student account balance every semester and didn’t complain too much. Oh, and I would definitely have to thank them and my sisters (Kristen, Andrea and Erin) for putting up with my complaining and general annoyance the past four years on top of their own problems. With all that, I would have to say how I couldn’t think of a better parenting job and a better family. But that type of column has been done before too.
I could talk about all my friends back home who are still my closest buds even though I became a traitor by coming to Michigan. Items that would need to be discussed include infamous places and events like: The Cabin, The Office, The Bus, 1880/2112, The Bandana Massacre, Itchykoo Park and a plethora of other things we’ve done. But at the end, I would just have to say that they are the best guys (Rick, Brustuen, Moj, Tim, Mo, Larp, Hups, Bubba and all the other STA friends) a dude could hang out with, always willing to do something fun even if it’s against better judgment at times.
But, if I did that, I would feel guilty about not including other close friends. I would have to thank Jenny for putting up with more crap than anyone should possibly have to deal with and still sticking by me. And even finding time to take a couple trips (Madison, Chicago, etc.) and bringing me to her house for a couple holidays or just for a break from the University.
I would also have to thank Jack and Ian for being two of the best MSEs the Daily has ever seen. Jack for providing some of the funniest moments of college and Ian for being the best journalist (note: no quotes around that) and good friend that I’ve had the pleasure of working with here. I’d have to thank many others I worked beside: Ali, Brady, Gennaro, Burke, Bremmer, Bob, EA, Sharad, Schick, Gabe, Weiner, Megology, JVD, S. Dot and basically everyone on Sports that I didn’t mention by name. But that’s too trite; that’s been done enough times.
I could just do a straight-up “remember when” column that involves stuff my friends at school would get. In doing one of those, I’d have to mentioned as many of my roommates and friends in the last four years: RO, Gonz (even with the not so good), Flaze, Billy (Tough Tommy), Sarah, Josh, Will, Phil, Tim, Summer 408 E. Jefferson, Andy, etc., and even you Neal, despite the fact that I hated living with you freshman year. But you were a nice guy and bought me a shot on my birthday.
I’d have to talk about endless games and nights of beer pong, the banana bunch night, the David Lee Roth, the Law library, beer Olympics, bathroom time, bottle toss, the “javelin,” pulling the trigger, “high school” parties and tons of other memories that no one would want to hear about.
I could also take a different route and talk about certain events that have happened to me since I’ve worked at the Daily. I would talk about a certain high-profile coach supposedly calling me a word that rhymes with trucker in practice for reasons that still mystify me.
But in the end, I would like to impart the little bit of advice I can give: Take advantage of every opportunity and look around a little bit in college, because it goes by quicker than you’d like.
But what do I really know? I’m 22 years old, and my life plan isn’t much clearer than it was almost four years ago. All I can do is thank everyone that’s been a part of the undergrad journey, even the people that e-mailed me with nasty comments and some teachers that didn’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. Although I wanted to leave this school two years ago and was basically out the door, I came back, and I’m happy with that decision. Sure, there have been more ups and downs, but it’s still been a life experience that I gratefully received, because I learned more than I thought I would when I left good ole’ Minnesota.
– Maize Rage: Ian never called you boners, I did. Sorry. Matt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.