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The Blue & Gray Press | July 25, 2017

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UMW student finds his way back home in Jefferson Hall

UMW student finds his way back home in Jefferson Hall

By TYLER POSPISIL

I walked into Jefferson Hall my freshman year, in the fall of 2013, with no expectations of what it was going to be like. Now, it is 2016 and I walk into the exact same building, heck I even walked into the same room, as a senior. The building is still run down as ever which is what I expected, but it was weirdly endearing.

However, while the building I live in hasn’t changed much, I feel like I have changed exponentially from freshman year.

Back in 2013 I just graduated high school with a king-of- the-castle mentality. Everyone always spoke about how amazing being a senior in high school would be like. All my responsibilities at the time were very artificial and minor.

I would siphon my dad’s red container of gas from the lawnmower only if it would be enough to get me to my high school girlfriend’s house. That was the epitome of my struggles back then, getting enough gas to see my friends. My other responsibilities around the house were just as trivial as this.

The main thing I was told in high school was that high school was just the appetizer, while college was the main dish. The appetizer was just supposed to fill you up and get you ready for the main course of finer academics. The one problem? High school was easy. Extremely easy. I put in minimum effort in high school and coasted by with A’s and B’s. However, in college, I could no longer just coast.

In my first semester, I did the thing that I was used to, I coasted. As my first semester of college was coming to an end I still had this horrible sense of dread about getting my final grades. I thought I could do it all without actually doing anything. Sadly that was not the case.

I got my grades back and my heart sunk. I took a few summer classes and got caught right back up. As I reflect back on it now, it was an expensive lesson, but what it taught me was more than the cost.

I learned the value of putting in your best effort for the best outcome, it taught me the art of not succumbing to the easy-going nature of mediocrity. It’s a simple lesson to learn and maybe I learned it late, but better late than never.

The pinnacle of this lesson came during my sophomore year. I was taking Introduction to Logic, and, as an English ajor, this stuff could have been as foreign to me as quantum psychics or rocket science. My brain just would not compute.

I refused to flop over like a fish and die out. I had learned my lesson in previous classes. What did I do? I went to tutoring multiple times, I learned the importance of office hours and I got through my personal hell. It was a struggle to the very end. I should have had an IV drip of coffee injected straight into my bloodstream because of all the sleep I was losing. However, my sleep did not matter, the only thing that mattered was that I finished the course with a decent grade.

As a senior, I look back at my naivety all those years ago and chuckle quietly to myself. I may have walked into the same dorm and even the same dorm room as I did back then, but I assure you, I am not the same man.

 

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