Just like many people who go to college, I had no concrete plan when I arrived on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus. I had a tarnished view of college based on films and shows that it is a crazy place full of pool parties and drinking. Sadly enough, I came to realize that I would never attend a pool party in Whitewater, but instead I would turn into a man. Life in high school was really relaxed and the worries were slim. After the first week of living in the constricting dorm room and sleeping on the slim bed, I wanted out. I remember calling my mom in a depressed mood and saying I want to come home. She ensured me everything would be ok, and that I needed to just give it my best shot. I quickly learned that I couldn’t just rely on other people when I had problems anymore; it was up to me to solve them.
Life got better after the first week. I met a whole floor of new friends and was busy with all the work of college. Sure I didn’t have Mom’s amazing meals every night, but the freedom turned out to be worth the poor nutrition of the college meal plan. College taught me how to problem solve. Not just math problems, but REAL LIFE PROBLEMS. When I got sick it was up to me to go to the doctor and buy medicine while also remembering to take it every night. Every year I became smarter and smarter and my thinking skills only increased. I started finding ways to deal with stress. Drinking became one of them (although I didn’t always enjoy it), but on a serious note, I found another way: working out. Working out was something I never really did in high school, because I was highly involved in playing basketball and really didn’t have time. Once I started getting into working out I never looked back. It turned into my number one passion and hobby. I can’t go a day without doing it because not only does it provide fun for me; it is also my way to vent problems in life and is my own personal therapy.
When it came time to declare a major, I had no clue what I was going to do. I enjoyed writing and playing sports, so I decided to become a print journalism major. I started out by writing stories for the Whitewater football team on an alumni site called whitewaterfootballclub.com. I finished off the year of writing for the website to learn that it just wasn’t for me. It was too late to change major though, because I wasn’t the kid who wanted to stay in school forever, so I just decided to add a minor in marketing. Marketing became my passion in school. I acquired many books to read on my phone and became heavily involved in the idea of marketing. Although I didn’t want to become a journalist, I began to realize that learning how to write would only help my marketing skills. Why? Because most business students I’ve ran into throughout my college experience CAN’T write. I found my own niche position in the business world. I had marketing knowledge with refined (no where near perfect) writing skills, and that is how I advertised myself to companies. It landed me a nice summer job at Lexus of Brookfield, where I would write descriptions for cars while also doing online marketing for the company. For once I was excited about my journalistic future, because I could integrate my major to real life businesses without having to write stories everyday. It made me think about this world a different way. I knew that working hard enough would get me the college degree I’ve came here for, but I could also create my own path into the business world without having to follow the “typical” path. I’m hoping the current opportunities I have at Lexus will open the doors into a new career that will be full of wealth and exciting opportunities.
If I could go back and change the path I took throughout college, I probably would go into accounting and marketing or possibly personal training. I do not, however, regret any of the decisions I’ve made because these important decisions have shaped me into the person I am today. I learned that I can’t look back and dwell at the past but instead should look into the future and be excited about possible opportunities. I have come to realize, as graduation is right around the corner, that I could not have had these learning experiences and life lessons without going to college. It has been an amazing experience that I will cherish forever, and I am more than grateful for everyone I have met during this crazy ride. But it is time for me to move and an attack the real world head on. Goodbye Whitewater, thanks for all the memories.