“We were right, we were giving. That's how we kept what we gave away.”
College for me was never totally about academics, much to my parents’ chagrin. Oh, I’ve learned plenty of things, received educations from first-class professors who have expanded my worldview. I think of classes by Dale Jenkins, Yvonnes Chen, Mike Ellerbrock, and countless others and feel richer for having the opportunity to study under them.
Now that it’s time to take inventory of college, though, coursework seems almost a perfunctory aspect of the experience. It’s the hoariest of cliches to say what truly matters are the people in your life and yet nothing could be more true. What I will always value most about my time at Tech was the Hokie family that helped every one of us develop into the best man or woman we can be.
I think of the “Collegiate Times” and all that its cast of undergraduate students accomplishes under pressure and constant critique. My contribution to this wonderful paper has been minimal compared to so many figures behind-the-scenes who make this publication happen and I, along with the rest of the student body, owe them gratitude for their unseen service to this university.
I think of the lovable band of rapscallions I call my fraternity brothers. They took in a clueless, socially stunted freshman and tough loved me into improving myself, to the point where they were somehow comfortable electing me as their president for one memorable year. There were good times, there were bad times, and there were downright stupid times, but looking back, it was all time spent well.
Faces of friends past and present flooded my mind as I made my way to the Duck Pond. The crowd there seemed to be standing in for recollections of my time in Hokie nation. Runners conjured images of so many hours playing pickup basketball at McComas. A young couple holding hands produced flashbacks to romances, some joyous, some painfully unrequited, but all contributing to a rich tapestry of memories. All the while, Neil Young sang his hymn of life in my ear.
“Oh, this old world keeps spinning round. It's a wonder tall trees ain't layin' down. There comes a time, comes a time.”
There comes a time for everything. For the class of 2012, it has come time for us to bid farewell to college and embark on the next phase of our journeys through this strange, wondrous adventure called life. Amazing things await each of us in this world, and though we may be leaving Blacksburg, no one ever truly leaves Hokie Nation behind.
Tech is family and no matter what direction life takes, family will always be a part of you.