On graduation: a former editor’s reflection

[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center”]Jackson of All Trades[/pullquote1]

BY TIM JACKSON ’12
Former Editor-in-Chief

When asked to compose a farewell piece for The College Reporter, I was at first a little wary of the request. How can I in 300 words or less effectively summarize what has been an exhausting and, at times, trying four years. Yet, at the same time, those four years have been exciting and rewarding, leaving me with little doubt as to whether or not I will be leaving F&M a better person.

While I have been many things and accomplished a great deal during my time in Lancaster, the majority of my fleeting few years here have been spent in a nondescript office in the corner of the Steinman College Center’s second floor working for The College Reporter. I certainly have the utmost respect for my professors; they have taught me a great deal and I owe much of what I know to them. That being said, at the end of the day, few things, I believe, have impacted my personal development more than my time at TCR.

In particular, these past seven months have been incredibly rewarding. Those seven months coincide with the time I have spent as Editor in Chief. They have featured, among other things, many of the most memorable moments of my time here. Many of my best friends work there and I have come to know many people in the administration, student body, and surrounding community who I am sure I would never have met otherwise. That, perhaps, is the most rewarding part of working for a campus newspaper: meeting new people, the ensuing relationships, and what you learn as a result of maintaining those relationships.

I know this institution, like every other college or university in the world, has its issues. The food could be better, there is likely a better way to conduct the housing lottery, and selecting courses for the upcoming semester can at times be confusing, frustrating, and, when you don’t get four classes at first, unrewarding. Leaving all its relatively minor issues aside (trust me, I have spent time on other campuses and the problems many students are faced with here pale in comparison), F&M is a remarkable place. I have matured more here than in the previous 18 years of my existence. For that, I must thank every person I have met during my time here. Had I not joined TCR, I would never have met half the people here that I have.

As the last piece I will likely ever write for this publication, I want to leave whoever stumbles across this with one piece of advice: take advantage of every relationship you have and do your best to meet as many people as possible, whether they be classmates, administrators, professors, or people simply passing through campus. It’s a lesson I wish I had learned much earlier than my junior year here.

Finally I would like to say thank you, both to those in TCR who gave me the chance to serve this community and to the entire campus for making my time as Editor in Chief, as well as my entire college experience, so rewarding. I pray my parents don’t read this, but at times I regret I did not fail at least a few courses so I would be forced to return here for at least one more semester. One of the mistakes (and there have been many) I have made here!

To those graduating with me in May, good luck in the world beyond. To those staying behind, take advantage of everything this institution and its community has to offer — you will surely regret it if you do not. And finally, to those following me at The College Reporter, I look forward to reading your work every week. Always cherish and respect the position you hold on this campus; it is one of great responsibility. I will miss TCR and F&M a great deal next year when I move on, and I am envious of those who will remain, as they will have the community I have come to value so much at their fingertips.

Farewell, F&M. You have treated me well and I will never forget the lessons, skills, and relationships I have had the fortune to accumulate here. I will surely never find a place more diverse and rich than this one.

Questions? Email Tim at timothy.jackson@fandm.edu.

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