There’s this great guy friend in my life named Cody Bridges, and he recently wrote a spectacular blog post on his Tumblr about wondering what would have happened if he hadn’t decided to go to Loyola University in Chicago. I think every college student has these feelings once in a while, and he summed them up beautifully.
I’ve always said Mizzou is my Hogwarts, and I mean it. I’m sure my readers are getting tired of the Harry Potter references (too bad, get used to it), but there’s nothing more accurate than saying Mizzou was what made everything make sense to me about my future, just like Hogwarts formed who Harry would eventually become (the savior-figure of a best-selling, box-office-smashing series). And I often wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t found it.
On the academic side of things, I could go on for a whole other blogpost on the great journalism education I’m getting that can’t be compared, even by Columbia in NY or Northwestern University. Simply put, going anywhere but Mizzou wouldn’t have taught me squat about working for a real publication, and I’d be looking for a summer internship with nothing but a school paper to put on my resume.
The people in college are just as important. Today my friend Kathryn posted pictures on Facebook of all of us at Homecoming (our 100th!). Some important faces were missing—Shaina had to work and Rachel and Bethany were at a different tailgate—but the feeling remained the same when I was looking through the album; what would my life be like without these people and this place? I’m sure I would have been happy at another school and found friends, but it wouldn’t have been the same. Good, but not Mizzou great.
In “Company”, one of my favorite stage shows, they say of the main character Robert that “he doesn’t have the good things, but he doesn’t have the bad things. But, he doesn’t have the good things”. And I don’t want that. I don’t think I would change a thing. I like every inch of my Loyola experience, warts and all.
What have been the warts of my Mizzou experience? Definitely some stressful nights (more than I care to remember) and relationships gone wrong. I’ve had awful confrontations with some people and had to say goodbye to others rather unceremoniously. There have been heartbreaks and disappointments when relationships that I hoped for crashed and burned before even really taking off.
Those were all stitches in the quilt of my college experience, though; they were all necessary to forming who I am now. In this magnificent blanket I’m putting together, there are the bad stitches I wish I could rip out, but they’re so dominated by the good ones that it’s not even worth it going back to fix them. All in all, this blanket’s turning out pretty well, and it’s just a little more than halfway done.