TCU Daily Skiff Tuesday, April 20, 2004
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Don’t just breathe; live life

Colleen Casey
is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Skokie, Ill.

Here’s something I’d like potential employers to ask me: my qualifications for the position of living.

My laugh is infectious. It is said that I make some mean chocolate chip cookies. All my roommates are still some of my good friends. Sometimes, I take my dog outside in the morning to go the bathroom before I’ve gone to the bathroom myself. I’m a good friend to my fiancé. When in a good mood, anyone who wants to can merge in front of me on the highway.

During my college years I’ve lived. I have not just had a life.

But I’m hardly an expert on how to deal with what will follow after graduation. I do know a few things about college life though.

I’d like to encourage others to keep trying, whatever might come your way. I needed to hear that advice more than I did during college, especially freshman year when I hadn’t learned what it meant to try. And especially now when I’m trying even though my mind keeps wondering about what will come next.

At this time senior year in high school, most of us knew we were coming to TCU. We had a definite in life. At the current time, I’d like that same level of stability. That’s not going to happen, and that’s OK because I’m stronger now. These four years have been very productive and have taught me things I didn’t know before.

Another thing I’ll pass on is something that can’t be said enough. It also can’t be written on too many Post-it Notes and adhered to too many highly visible locations. My advice is to never let things you don’t control bring you down. This doesn’t just mean the rain.

Move on after someone else gets what you want: the job, the girl, the last piece of pizza or whatever else. Forgive yourself if you ran late and you missed out on something. Don’t let things like this get you down.

If something gets to you anyway, which is usually the case, try to distract yourself. Hit the Recreation Center. Challenge yourself to redecorate on a short deadline and a small budget. Go buy some new pajamas. Get some chocolate. Tutor a middle school student.

Just don’t let things get the best of you in college. Get the best from it.

Enjoy the scenery around you on your walk to class, even if you’re headed for an exam.
And you won’t ever regret occasionally buying one of Frank’s Desserts when dining in The Main. Realize that learning how to live with a noisy neighbor and how to dodge your pesky resident assistant will be stories you’ll tell your kids one day.

You are being tested right now, and the things you do matter. You do need to come out alive, and not just breathing, but ready and armed with a stellar résumé and enough ambition to drive you forward until you receive your first big promotion.

I encourage others to not only embrace the TCU community but Fort Worth as well. It’s nice to look back and know that I stepped beyond campus, and not just to go to get a burrito and back.

It’s apparent now that my lessons have been learned and, for what it’s worth, all my textbooks sold back.

During college I’ve had many realizations. One is that nothing is really ever over. There are photos and journal entries. Reunions and chance meetings. Homecoming football games and student loan payments. Extra-long twin bed sheets that will forever sit unused in your linen closet and treasured memories you’ll think about often.
You see nothing is ever over. Except this column.


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