Becoming an actualized member of society

I will be graduating this Dec. 15 and will join the ranks of those students who chose to shirk the tradition of graduating in four years.

Some of us got lucky with scheduling, took summer classes, put our nose to the grindstone, or did all three in order to graduate a semester early, while others have chosen to enjoy their education at a slightly more leisurely pace.

But at the end of the day, one thing is true. All of us will be graduates soon. As such, I just wanted to take a moment and reflect back on my time here at CSU. I realize not everyone has had the same experience I have had, but I hope all of you graduates have at least enjoyed your time here — I know I have.

It all seems to have gone by so quickly. Just yesterday I was moving into my room in Edwards. I had no idea what to expect from the campus except what I had seen in the promotional materials. Not only that, I hadn’t actively made new friends since the fourth grade; I was a little nervous.

Thankfully, I had nothing to be worried about. My freshman year I met so many new people from around the country (including one kid from Puerto Rico) and they all had so many different takes on the world.

I learned of new ways for people to be people that were completely foreign to me and the town I had grown up in. Everyone’s perspectives and motives were all a little different, and in the process of learning about these people I’d like to think I’ve expanded my view of the world and come to know myself a little better in the process.

And honestly, I think that’s the best thing about my time here at CSU. I have enjoyed my education here. I love being able to look back and see that I have clearly learned some very powerful skills in my time here that will hopefully allow me to succeed in the business world.

But I feel the most important thing that I’ve gotten out of my time here is a sense of confidence in myself, my work and my place in the world. When I first started school here I wanted to be a DJ for KCSU. I went through the application process and made it to the point where you tag along with another one of the DJs for an hour or so.

There was some part of me though that was still afraid about taking charge and moving forward, of being responsible for the music people would be listening to and having to talk about it on air. So I just sort of let it slip away and never followed up.

Yet here I am in my last semester writing for the Collegian, with my words reaching at least a few people (hi Mom!) and not just any words, but my own thoughts and opinions on the world, just out there for any person to read.

I realize this piece has been a little indulgent, but I hope whoever is reading this –– be they soon to be graduates, those who still have a couple more semesters to go, freshman just finishing their first semester, or anyone really –– will take some time to indulge in some reflection on their own past couple of years.

I hope you can enjoy the process as much as I have and I hope that all of us getting ready to go through a large transition in our lives can find happiness and success in our futures. Good luck out there, folks.

Hamilton Reed is a senior computer science major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.