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A walk long overdue; Univeristy student graduates

Seven years ago, I graduated high school right here in Bowling Green.

2,500 days later, I am receiving a Bachelor’s Degree from the University. That is right, BG’s own Van Wilder is finally graduating college.

Before delving into the intricate details of why it took me so long, I must say that my motto has always been not how long it takes, but whether or not you finish.

Fresh out of high school, I really didn’t have lofty aspirations concerning college. I wanted to get into the very selective E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. I applied in the fall of 2002 and did not get in. I was told I could enroll in the general college in hopes of being admitted to Scripps after a year or so.

It was all or nothing for me, so I just applied for Scripps again in the spring of 2003 after being a coach potato through the fall.

Once again I was denied, thus settling on my hometown as a contingency.

The University treated me good until the spring of 2005, when I found myself encountering the proverbial bad semester. My grades suffered immensely. I took the fall off from school and came back in January of 2006 ready to rock and roll.

That year was good for me both academically and personally, seeing that I started dating a girl who I thought was way out of my league, yet I worked for it anyway and it paid off.

Less than a year later she left me behind, but somehow I managed to make the Dean’s List for the first and only time. Still to this day I do not know how I pulled that off.

Since then I may have underachieved in some people’s eyes taking only a few credit hours each semester. In the end, several factors played into why I have attended college this long, yet do not have a Doctorate.

Throughout my so called tenure as a student, there have been many pros and cons as a townie. I was able to live at home and save a lot of money that would have gone toward room and board.

However, over time the fact that I really want to get out of this town has gotten to me.

My degree is in print journalism with a minor in Canadian Studies. Ironically enough, I really do not want to write for a newspaper. Without sounding too cynical, the medium is dying.

Moreover, just ask my advisor that my niche is not hard news reporting, but rather feature writing.

That said I would like to write for a magazine or even freelance on the Internet, considering the direction journalism is going. I also want to write a memoir of sorts focusing on the frustrating subtleties of life.

To be honest, I want to go back to school, as if I have not had enough, and obtain a teaching certificate. I would love to teach high school composition. People have always thought of me as a motivational person who could make learning entertaining and fun.

I know my time at the University has been more than a scholarly endeavor and I really think that is how it should be.

In totally absorbing myself in the college lifestyle I have grown a lot as a person, but a part of me will always feel like I’m 18.

I think I am ready for this whole independent living thing. In a few months, I would have held my job at UPS for a year and receive a good benefit package despite the fact it is only part time work.

This summer, I have had the opportunity to work for this newspaper for my last internship credit. There has been a good balance of praise and constructive criticism and I am sad to see it come to an end.

I am walking at the commencement ceremony in three days and it still has not sunk in.

It has been quite the ride and half of me does not want to get off. The other half is ready for whatever comes next. I have ideas of where I want my life to go, but I will always embrace my spontaneous personality.

I humbly thank everyone who I have met and helped me along the way.

Roll Along!

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