Surviving the war in college

Kevin Hall, Assistant Photo Editor

Like many, I would assume at least, when graduating from high school, college was only one of the many alternative avenues I could have taken in life. Of course I considered finding a minimum wage job and “working my way up the ladder”, but quite frankly, that would be entirely too easy and rather boring if I say so myself.

Coming out of high school I wanted to embark on a new journey that aided me on finding a purpose. Seeking an experience that I could gain both maturity and the essential tools I feel are needed to build a successful life so I had narrowed my life down to college or the military.

Feeling as though I would gain much more in the military rather than going to any fouryear university, by the middle of my senior year I was convinced I was going to be in the army.

Four years and here I am here, writing this column for the university’s student newspaper, but I can’t help but feel like a wounded war veteran at the end of this servitude with graduation less than two weeks away.

Though it may be a bit dramatic of me to say, the comparison in my mind is far too evident.

I mean no disrespect or disregard to those who go out and defend this lovely place that we call the Land of the Free and the Home the Brave. But after feeling as though I was deployed in Charleston, Illinois almost four years ago, I can’t help but say I have a few war stories of my own. Each of them is a lesson.

As I reflect on my decision between coming to school and going to the military, I remember thinking which would be the more challenging task and the one the you could possibly gain the most from, and here I am.

We look at army veterans and soldiers as upstanding citizens, but I feel as though college students should also be recognized for being what I like to call the “at home heroes”.

As college students we are used to perpetuate the cycle of social standards in our community and become active members in the society we live in to give those in the military something to even defend.

Coming from the south side of Chicago to Charleston being a major transition in itself, the thought of having schoolwork and being responsible for yourself would be harder than any task offered by the military.

Granted, those in the army are at physical, as well mental risk of being harmed every day, but is it not the same for college students when thinking about certain college activities?

I feel as though working with a team in the army makes the job a bit easier.

I have realized that teamwork outshines individuality almost 100 % of the time, and it’s solely because people feel responsible for one another. When working on a team people generally know if one fails then they all fail, and this is where major accountability for one another comes in and it is easier to operate.

As I near the end, I can’t help but reflect on the time spent here at Eastern and just like soldiers would take pride in their platoon, I can’t help but smile and say, “I am EIU”!


Kevin Hall is a senior journalism major and he can be reached at [email protected].