As I waited anxiously in the Career Resource Center my sophomore year, I pondered my future. I had already spent a year of my college life feeling academically empty inside and I was scared. When the advisor entered the room, she handed me a packet decorated with happy students, sitting on comfy couches, and smiling because they all were feeling secure in their futures – or at least they were paid to look like they were.
Within the packet laid hidden a treasure trove of majors and minors, and questions geared toward helping me discover what would satiate my empty collegiate soul. As I scanned the pages, nothing jumped out at me. But then it hit me: why not just pick randomly? What could possibly go wrong? I had already dabbled in the biology major, and even considered becoming a highly respected mathematician – neither of which was suited for me in the slightest.
So I closed my eyes and I put my finger down. I mean, look. I get it. You’re all probably cringing right now and judging me. But just hear me out. I’ve never been happy in school. I made myself a secret promise one day that I would never become a teacher – that would mean the moment I finally escaped, they would drag me right back in. No way.
Also, just to make things clear, if I landed on something I really didn’t want, like double rainbow studies, I wasn’t against closing my eyes and trying again. Notice how I made up a major as to not offend anyone. I’m such a gentleman.
Anyway, that’s when it happened. I landed on this single word, drenched in unfamiliar territory. The tip of my finger just slightly caressed the “J” in journalism. So, that was that, and I went on my merry way with new hope.
Lets fast forward a bit. Today, I’m a senior. As I’m writing this, I have five articles to complete that are due tomorrow. I’m stressed to the point where my body has been taking a serious toll. If you look closely, past the bruised wrists that have a distinct keyboard imprint and beyond the hunchback forming from excessive sitting and leaning, you can see a smile on my face. No, that smile isn’t gas. That smile is my love for journalism. That smile is my love for The New Paltz Oracle.
For the first time in my life, I am surrounded by a group of people that I completely respect and admire. I have never been among so many talented and hardworking individuals. And for some reason, they accept me, they laugh with me and as a group, we put together the best damn newspaper this school has ever seen.
I’m doing something that’s meaningful, important and relevant, and making friends that will last me a lifetime. How many people can say that? Sure, that was a pretty stupid thing I did leaving my future to fate, but it was the best decision I ever made. And if I could start over – do it all again – I would only change one thing: I would have chosen this sooner.
Maxim is a fourth-year journalism major. This is his first semester as Arts & Entertainment Editor of The New Paltz Oracle and he hopes to make it the best section of the paper – even trumping the news section in relevancy. He loves movies, music, television, video games, books and eating large sandwiches. One of his least favorite hobbies, however, is describing himself in a paragraph.