Summers in New Paltz are strange. Getting ready to graduate by the end of the year is even moreso. Since last spring, my fourth semester at New Paltz, I’ve had my eyes set on an early graduation.
I’ve never truly felt like New Paltz was the right fit for me. In the spring of my freshman year, I spent my time with my nose to the grindstone, working to keep up a high GPA and filling out applications for new schools. I hoped that good grades would help me transfer and that transferring would help me gain a new perspective and sense of belonging. The summer came and went and I found myself at New Paltz for another year.
Yet again I offset the discomfort of my situation by dedicating myself to my work and, this time around, joining the rugby team. Getting involved with the team seemed like the right way to find a sense of place. I went to practice, focused on school work and started to feel much better about my station in life. Through the team I found great friends and a reason to try my hardest, dedicating myself to the things I was passionate about. It paid off in experience on the field, opportunities to travel and another semester of good grades.
That winter something strange happened. I stayed dedicated to my training, making my best efforts to come back a better athlete in the spring. I looked forward to working at this fine publication, at which I’d recently been appointed to staff as a copy editor for the features section. While I enjoyed being home with family and my closest friends, I actually looked forward to being in New Paltz again.
When the semester rolled around, I had a bright disposition and was hoping to give it my best for the team, the paper and myself. Through The Oracle I met even more amazing individuals, finding reasons to reach for the stars in my writing. Honing my skills in journalism made me realize it was truly my calling and sparked even more passion for reporting and this “career in learning.” I felt like things were coming together. Though I had less time for the team, I stayed as involved as I could and kept going to the gym. Classes, however, started to become more and more of a task. By the end of Spring ‘17 the feeling of not belonging came back and I wanted out.
My summer was spent working at a local paper, showing me I had definitely picked the right path. Writing and reporting professionally just felt good. The idea of college became more of a means to an end.
Some people say I’m being hasty in my desire to leave school, that it’s the best years of my life and I’ll want it all back once I’m gone. That may be true, but if I’ve learned one thing through all of college it’s that by dedicating yourself to the things you care about you can always soldier on. I’m still savoring every minute I have here in the beautiful Hudson Valley, playing rugby and learning every day about this wonderful profession.