When I first came to this school four years ago, I was told by my RA, also my student government president, that it was his goal to leave this school a better place than he found it. It had always struck me as a cheesy idea, one he used to get his name on plaques and win votes. In my tenure here I’ve done my best to change things, many of which no one will ever know I had any impact on, but that without me or the people I work for, they would have never happened. You won’t hear my name in an awards ceremony or read it on some plaque; at best you might see my name on a ballot, where it’s been for my whole career, always maintaining a position in my government.
I always hear people talk about how bummin’ High Point is, how it sucks, and I always ask these people what it is they do to make this place a better place. As it happens, when I created an underground publication in my junior year, it was as much a backlash to the administration that didn’t want to change as it was an indictment of a bunch of students who loved to complain and then be complacent. It’s not the fact that I fought with my best friend for a Frisbee golf course or a remodeling of the ravine, projects started at the end of our careers never to be used by us. No one will remember my name – no one will remember what I did here – but I did things and I will remember them and that is what my experience here was about.
All I ever wanted was to give my people better representation; all those people that didn’t understand the system, talked negatively about it, and did nothing about it. For the wasted kids at parties, for the dork that no one talks to, for the insane freaks that don’t care about anyone – I did it for them. This isn’t a self-indulgent rant. This is the truth. This to explain to you that the duty you have to make this world a better place goes far beyond yourself. The lives I’ve affected will be changed forever and most of them will never even remember me and have no idea what I did for them. Whether it was protecting their investment in SGA or helping them back to their dorm room when they were too drunk to do it themselves, these are all duties that are done for something more than a résumé, transcript, or praise. For as much as I have hated this university, and at times that hatred has been an inferno of rage, I have never stopped serving it. It’s all I had.
The Source didn’t do anything – how many people that read this even know what it is? I wonder if I’ll remember it in 20 years. Will I remember I did my senior seminar on my hero Hunter Thompson a semester before he blew his head off? Will I remember how much I couldn’t wait to get out of this wretched place only to realize that it has become my home and I will miss it? Will I remember anything they won’t? The only thing I can hope is that this, my final act of service, technically an assignment for my Journalism II class, may become my gift to the student body if it is someday published. Who recognizes the name, and who really cares?
The best pizza in town is on the other side of it; it’s called Elizabeth’s, on Westchester, and it’s worth the drive. Top floors of dorms are better because when others’ rooms flood they don’t seep through your ceilings. Take meetings with your professors; think of interesting things you might like to ask about this school and take a meeting with a dean, vice president, or even president. The cafeteria will always suck – I’ve helped implement changes in the caf that people asked for only to have more people complain about the changes – stop whining and do something! Do what you do regardless of the people that tell you it’s stupid or futile or not worth it – what you want is worth it, and anyone that keeps you away from what you want is a hindrance, be it a friend, enemy, relative, or yourself. We are each guiltier than anyone of holding ourselves back. Hunter Thompson talked a lot about fear and loathing, the new Great American Pastime, and how it could consume and cripple a person; do not allow this to happen to you. Make each day count – they’re beautiful – and you never know when one day, the memory of these days will be all you have.
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