When Kevin Jensen first hired me as a columnist for the Collegian back in August 2012, I did not get a whole lot of positive reactions to the announcement. I was hired right off of the heels of the “Screwing Racism” fiasco, and a lot of my friends told me point blank that I’d better not write a column like that one. Suitably chastened, I entered the Collegian’s opinion staff.
I didn’t really have any ambitions when I entered the world of student journalism. I just wanted to speak my mind in the Wednesday column to which I was assigned. I certainly never thought that I would be asked to be the Opinion Editor at the end of the fall semester. But I am certainly glad that I did.
I’m sure that every graduate approaches their graduation with a certain number of regrets. Chances that they didn’t take. Classes that they should have taken. Opportunities that they passed up, even if there was a good reason to do so.
I certainly have my fair share of those. Not finishing my AUCC credits in my freshman year is certainly one. I also wouldn’t have minded taking the Scuba Diving class either, that might have been fun. I should have probably done a few more internships as well.
Apart from those, I just can’t escape the feeling that I was a little too safe with my collegiate career.
I probably should have asked out the girl with the black hair that I sat next to in a sociology class. Sure she might have turned me down, given that I was a socially awkward dork at the time, but hey, at least I would have tried. Or I could have kept going with the CSU soccer team. Or I could have joined another club. Or I could have played fewer video games and gotten out more.
Who knows what my life could have been if I’d made a few other changes in my life at CSU. Where I might have been if things had transpired differently? There’s no way to know, at least until the TV show Fringe becomes a reality (which would be kind of awesome).
Regardless, here I am now, graduating with degrees in political science and journalism, and the exiting Opinion Editor at the Rocky Mountain Collegian. I have a lot of dreams, a lot of things I want to do and (now) quite a bit of time to act on them.
There’s always that annoying question that people ask you, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I’ve never had a good answer for that question. I can’t honestly say that I give my long-term future any thought because I don’t think that far ahead with my life.
The best answer I have now that I’m staring down the barrel of entering the professional world is: I have no idea.
Some people might find that scary, or a cause for concern. But I don’t. The great expanse of my future is open and it’s time to start carving out my path in life.
Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way, and I wish my fellow graduates luck in their future lives and careers.
“Let’s go exploring.”
Caleb Hendrich is a graduate of the Colorado State Political Science and Journalism and Technical Communications programs. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.