cannot count the number of times I have pulled an all-nighter.
I cannot count the number of times I have been late
I cannot count the number of times I have
your own phrase here).
Aside from the above mentioned all nighters and classes,
not to mention HBO binges, late night visits to FrogBytes
and the network being down (again), my memories of TCU
are pretty unique to me. In fact, if I have learned
one thing in college, it is that everyones experience
is unique, no matter how similar they think they are
to everyone else.
For me, these years have been at times wonderful, eye-opening,
educational, exciting, weird, scary, stressful and painful.
Some of the memories I wish I could banish and never
think on again (yes, I did watch Glitter), and some
I will treasure forever. Even though it is time to move
on and figure out what the heck to do with the next
40 years, it is also a time to remember what the last
four years at TCU have meant to me.
My longest-running involvement has been with the TCU
Daily Skiff. I knew becoming a reporter was the career
for me before I even entered college, but working for
the Skiff gave me the practical knowledge necessary
to get on the right path. It gave me a chance to explore
the campus and meet many of the different students and
staff that make up our inclusive little world.
More importantly, the Skiff was at times both the most
emotionally draining and fulfilling experience that
I had in college. After holding two editor positions
and being a reporter, I worked myself hard enough to
get burned out for a while, but not so much that it
deterred me from continuing on my chosen career path.
The Skiff was a valuable part of my life, but the most
rewarding experience in my time at TCU didnt take
place in Fort Worth. Both in the fall of 2002 and this
semester, I crossed the Atlantic to study at the TCU
London Centre, first as a student and now as an intern.
I have been able to explore Europe, grow to love London
and meet a host of people from all over the world, and
I would recommend studying abroad to anyone as a fascinating
way to see a different part of the world.
It sounds like the typical promotional brochure for
studying abroad, but I have found that the brochure
was telling the truth. I have learned almost as much
about the United States from being away as from living
there. Never before has uttering the phrase I
am an American held so much meaning.
Just last weekend I was in a hostel in Belgium having
a conversation with two Chinese men about McDonalds
and how it is not representative of all American culture.
One of the men also informed me that a Taco Bell is
now open in Shanghai, and I had to assure him that it
is also not representative of authentic Mexican food.
In less than three weeks I will fly home from Europe
to walk across the stage, a purple blob in a sea of
purple, and become the first member of my family to
get a college diploma. It is a decidedly terrifying
prospect to not know what is waiting for me after graduation,
but it is also exhilarating to think of the possibilities
that the future holds.
McFarland is a senior news-editorial journalism and
English major from Houston.