Parting Shots 1999

(or, some of what I learned this year)

Many many things. I learned this year that free time will be a luxury from now on. ECE 480 taught me that for the most part, but just that fall semester in general taught it to me as well. I worked harder than I ever have in school that semester. I was proud with the result, but I learned the hard lesson that sometimes sacrifices have to be made in order to achieve some things. In my case, I had to sacrifice going to the BCM a lot. I feel like I missed out on a lot of stuff as a result.

I also learned that sometimes you *are* just a number. UA Housing taught me that lesson quite well over the years, but never harder than the last time. Having them say one thing, then say and do another, without any good reason for doing it, cost Ricky and I the apartment that we held dear.

Which brings me to the next thing...stability is a precious commodity. If you have any in your life, you're better off than most. 1122 Productions lost its headquarters and its nucleus. Ricky will be living at the BCM next year, while for the first time since my freshman year, I will not have a roommate at all. But at the same time I realize that while we lost the apartment that gave the company its name, we haven't lost the true backbone behind the company. Which, of course, is us...for true friendships last longer than mere stone and plaster can possibly hope to. (New 1122 motto: "It's not the's the attitude.")

And now I'm a graduate. And being a graduate entitles one to a few perks. One of which is the eventual money that I'll make in my job (though I've still got MBA school to get through before that happens). But there seem to be even more obligations than there are perks.

For instance, you have to be a grown-up now. I've also learned, just in the past few days, that being a graduate is another one of those definite signs that I'm now a full-fledged grown-up. And while I feel in some ways that I'm not really going into the "real world" yet, another part of me feels as if I've been there for a while now. And I'm getting a big dose of it as I type this...I'm paying bills for the first time ever.

And what of what I've learned over these entire four years? In my freshman year, I compiled a list of college "tips" that I've been looking at. I had to laugh out loud at some of them because they were antiquated ($1500 for a Pentium-120 back, how the times have a-changed), but most of them still ring true. "Keep your checkbook balanced." (I still need to remember that one.) One of the tips actually talked about me starting my own web page "soon". Now I really feel old... But they don't talk about a lot of things that I've learned since then, such as:

Et cetera, et cetera. But perhaps the biggest thing that I've learned over these four years can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:11...

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."

So it's time to start really, truly, being a man. That doesn't mean I won't enjoy things like cartoons any more...I seriously doubt that. But it does mean that my thoughts and attitudes now have to be that of a college graduate...of a grown man...of a Christian...always. For I am answering to my God one day about the things I did here. That's a lesson I have to continually learn.