Preparing for life’s changes

Campus Times
May 14, 2004

by Bailey Porter
Managing Editor

I do not envy the seniors as they rapidly approach graduation – the day that marks considerable change for them as most cease being students and head into uncharted territories.

Already I am finding ways to extend my stay here at ULV past the traditional four years – which isn’t too difficult given my double major work load that I willingly jumped into because I couldn’t bear making the choice of one over the other.

Really that debate over whether the University requires too many general education classes also works in my favor because it gives me a reason to need at least one extra semester to finish.

And it is not that I don’t want to continue to grow – and graduation will most definitely bring new paths into focus – it just seems that right when things seem to come together, another bend is formed in the road, and I have to adjust to something new.

There’s that saying that change is a good thing, but I can’t help but dread it and the unknown that opens up as change sends us catapulting into a new direction.

Sometimes I get worried that I am not capable of thriving in the world outside structured academia.

For as long as I can remember, school environments have been central to my life. So what happens when I don’t have the luxury of spending hours poured over some novel or – dare I say – interesting textbook, my livelihood depends on the stories I write and there are no more term papers to write? Okay, I won’t miss that last one.

I get solace knowing that as a journalist I will have to learn about many different facets of the world as I go on assignments to cover stories about topics that I know nothing about.

Already, as I learn my craft writing for this paper, I find myself taking lessons on subjects I would not otherwise study: the incidence of cervical cancer in women, the PATRIOT Act, the politics of an actor-governor and the accreditation process for a law school.

With that English degree in there I hope that gives me the excuse to still find time to read the works of the greats who have paved the way in unforgettable storytelling over time.

I’ll just say I’m doing research for the book I will write one day.

The concept of what’s next is a scary one. At least as a student I have the variety that I crave.

There are too many disciplines that spark my interest and I am a little apprehensive knowing that eventually I will have to choose which one takes precedence.

That is probably one of the reasons I want to go to graduate school. I enjoy the possibilities packed into a single classroom with so many diverse thinkers – people who can share their ideas and ultimately get you to think about things from a different perspective, a perspective you didn’t event know existed.

Sometimes I drive home from class pumped with energy from an engaging talk. I don’t want to leave that behind.

When it becomes one week before my graduation, I hope to embrace the possibilities that come with the next step.

Seniors, remain true to what has driven you to success up to this point and ultimately do what makes you happy, challenges your way of thinking and others’ and keeps you open to the winds of change.

Bailey Porter, a junior journalism major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at