Peyton Manfre

Here’s to making my first college friends in my freshman English class, and to the 8 a.m. classes I will never miss; to the late night drives on Blacksburg backroads, and early morning Cook Out runs; to walking across the flooded Drillfield in soggy tennis shoes, and climbing mountains at sunset. 

Here’s to all the papers I wrote and books I did(n’t) read. To the VTU for letting me live out my concert photographer fantasy even if it was just for a minute, and to the Collegiate Times for giving me a platform to write about things I love. 

Before starting my college career, I had no idea of who I was or what I wanted in life. While Virginia Tech was never my first choice, my time here has amounted to much more than I ever expected. While I was in high school, everyone always made college out to be some life changing experience where all of a sudden you become a person and you enter the real world and you’re, like, complete or something. I can’t say that’s been my experience, but my three years here have been much more than that. 

Throughout my time at VT, I’ve grown from an extremely lost teenager to a slightly less lost adult (?). Humor aside, my classes and involvement in organizations like the VTU and the CT have helped me realize that all my interests (writing, art, music, helping others and more) can be combined into a career path I’m passionate about. That being said, one day I aspire to promote musicians as a publicist in the music industry.

However, while my college career has given me an answer for what I want to do in the future, it has also taught me that there isn’t just one version of success. I’m exiting college much like I came in — a little lost and confused without an exact plan — but, now, that doesn’t scare me. When I arrived here at age 18, I was so worried about living up to others’ expectations, but now at 21, I’m leaving eager to step into the great wide open and live my life to the fullest, even if I’m still not sure of exactly what that means.

So, here’s to the spring break that lasted the rest of the semester, and the Zoom classes I never thought I’d have to take. Here’s to all the people I met — the ones who stuck around and the ones who didn’t — and to all the professors that have guided me towards my goals. 

Lastly, here’s to Virginia Tech for not being the college experience I thought I wanted, but for being the one I needed.


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