FROM THE EDITOR: No time for bittersweet goodbyes

February 25, 2010

by Casey Ardoin

All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.” -Kurt Vonnegut, “Slaughterhouse-Five”

Time is a funny thing.
For the most part it keeps us in check, giving us some kind of structure in life. We measure each moment by time, placing them in categories of past, present and future. Sometimes it flies by, leaving us wishing we had more. Sometimes it drags on, boring us out of our minds.

But it is always there; it always has been and always will be. Time is constant.
In nine days, my time here at Tech will be complete. After five long (sometimes miserable, sometimes delightful) years, I will finally reach the pinnacle of higher learning-graduation.

But I’m not sure I’m ready to enter what seems to be the quintessential next stage of my life.

Oh trust me, I’m definitely ready to be done with writing papers, taking tests and sitting through seemingly meaningless classes. I’m excited about finding a full-time job with a steady paycheck instead of pinching pennies and eating Ramen noodles.
But as much as I want to grab my diploma and run, another part of me wishes I could do it all over again.

So as a parting gift from someone who’s somehow found the mythical light at the end of the tunnel, I’ll offer a small piece of advice.

Enjoy yourself.

These are the best days of your life in perhaps the most unique setting you’ll ever live. You’ll never be around 12,000 of your peers again, and chances are the people you’ll work with in whatever profession you choose won’t be nearly as open minded as the melting pot of religious, political and social groups that call our university home.

I know college is hard. Professors set high standards, the quarter system sometimes feels rushed (especially during winter) and books are expensive. But looking back, you won’t remember how hard you studied for that differential equations midterm or how you managed to stretch that literary theory and criticism paper to the proper length.

You’ll remember the time you spent procrastinating with your best friends, perusing Facebook and StumbleUpon and vowing to start on your work sooner or later.

The moments that will stick with you won’t be the disappointing grade on your art project or the internship you didn’t get.

They’ll be the post-Rabb’s meals at Waffle House, the afternoon drives around town and the late night talks on the balcony of your apartment.

So wear lots of sunscreen, keep smiling and don’t ever take yourself too seriously.
Keep in mind that while the moments you spend at Tech will fly by faster than expected, they’ll forever be bugs stuck in amber, small symbols of why life is worth living in the first place.

Casey Ardoin is a senior journalism major from Pineville who serves as editor of The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to cma027@latech.edu.