This is the last column I will ever write for The Daily Eastern News, and even as I type out these words, it seems unreal to me. It seems unreal that I spent four and a half years here. It seems unreal to me that I will walk across the stage in less than a week, ready and allegedly prepared for the real world. It seems unreal.
But then again, if somebody told me four and a half years ago I would be the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, or that I would have made lifelong friends in the process, I would have thought the notion ridiculous.
But here I am; here we are. On the precipice of graduation, on the edge of leaving Eastern, the only thing I can think is thank God I got involved with something.
And I think that’s the best advice anybody can give somebody in college: get involved. It doesn’t have to be with the newspaper, but man, just get involved with something.
It goes a long way to helping in your collegiate career. The benefits (mostly) outweigh the costs. For me, getting involved with The News has given me more opportunities than I ever thought possible. I’ve met celebrities, talked with the big wigs of Eastern and watched as the biggest issues of the day swept over the campus.
But I also worked harder than I’ve ever worked before. And it was all worth it. The countless long nights and early mornings gave way to a better work ethic. The struggle of finding sources, or, hell, just finding a story, helped give me endurance. And the constant rush of stories, photos and deadlines helped focus my priorities.
In the end, I know I’m not the same person I would’ve been had I not accepted an invitation to be part of The News staff.
In the end, I’m better off, simply because I decided to get involved.
Eastern offers a lot in terms extracurricular activities, and far too often, I watch as students squander, waste it and only get a degree.
“Only get a degree” — it’s monumental to get a degree, yes, but if you don’t do anything while getting, it’s not always worth it.
The relationships forged in the newsroom are ones that will continue far past Saturday. That’s the great thing about being involved with something. It forces you to get to know people you otherwise wouldn’t, and lifelong friendships emerge from the flames of simply being in the same room as one another.
Our lives give us so many paths to choose from, and it’s impossible to know which is the right one. But just by picking one, you are light years ahead of somebody who doesn’t. No matter what you decide to get involved with, the lessons you learn along the way can be more valuable than any course at Eastern.
I learned about hard work. I learned about perseverance. I learned the world doesn’t stop for a personal tragedy.
I learned that life doesn’t work out the way you want it to every single day. But, the great thing is, you get to wake up and try it again tomorrow.
Knowing what I know now, there’s no way I would have wasted my freshman year doing nothing. Knowing what I know now, there’s no way I wouldn’t have gotten into the newsroom faster.
Knowing what I know now, there’s no way I would have lost this life I’ve grown accustomed to.
Everything that has happened — everything good, bad and in between — happened to me because of this newsroom, because of the people in it.
And that’s not something I’ll take lightly going into my next phase of life, and neither should you.
Get involved. Find something you love to do, and I can almost guarantee Eastern offers it.
Get involved. Don’t just get a degree. Find a life. Find new friends. The best thing you can say when you walk across that stage is that you’re lucky you found something you loved so much that it’s so hard to say goodbye.
The greatest lesson I learned in the past few years working at The News is that alone I will not survive. Surrounded by those who care about me help me thrive.
And the day will come where you will have to leave Eastern, too. Make sure the memories you have aren’t just of you in a study lounge or sitting in class. Make sure you fill that memory bank with as much as possible.
So, as this is the last column I will write, I hope somebody—at least one person—figures out that the key to living is to be involved with something you’re passionate about.
And because this is my last column, I guess that means this is goodbye.
I’m lucky it’s so hard to say.
Bob Galuski is a senior English major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]