After two years of writing for this paper it’s time to say farewell-but only for a short while; I’ll be back for my master’s. In these last two years I’ve regaled many of you with my words, and others have raised your fists in hateful fury. I have reveled in the attention that my articles have received, from the Greek community because of my infamous “anti-Greek” column to the people who made an “anti-Jovanni” group on facebook.com and even the countless puppy-toting girls who give me looks when I walk about; I love it all.
In the end, I’m happy because I have reached many people, and at the same time I have gotten to know great people who were at times categorized within my articles. For instance, for a while, people thought Ben Minkus and I were locked in some sort of opinion column war; it only turns out that he is the best editor I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I bashed the Greeks, only to have some of my most influential friends be active Greek members; such as Matt G, Kara H, Lauren R and Silia S. I make fun of the girls with the little dogs, but some of the nicest and caring people I’ve met carry around dogs with them.
This isn’t to say that I go back on what I said; I still mean every word. But what I’ve learned in my brief stint here at the university is this: Every situation is a diamond that has several facets. Sure I bashed Greeks for their elitism, but underneath that is a community of people who are constantly hard working towards an academic or philanthropic goal. I talked smack about how the Breezeway looked like a flea-market, but those boutiques are the only source of income for some of those women. I insulted rap, only to have tens of people recommend rap that was amazing and lyrically beautiful.
I proposed an American club and not only found impassioned community members who were against the idea, I found out that to categorize like I did leaves out a great many people who truly are American.
As my final piece of advice before I walk away from this until next January: Never stop questioning what’s around you, never be complacent with the opinions and actions that are expected of you; if you are to do something do it because you thought about it, analyzed it, and saw that it is truly what you want to do independent of those around you. Yet in this, never forget that each situation always has several aspects and although you may be right about something, there is another side to the story that you may not realize. Learn from those facets and absorb their meaning.
I offer this advice as someone who has spent the last several years writing about the follies of society and what I’ve seen around me; always trying to point things out to inspire change. I also offer it as someone who has learned from his mistakes and learned from the hundreds of responses I’ve received.
For those of you who I made smile, for those of you who I made angry, for anyone that I inspired any sort of emotion; I ask one thing, let me know it happened. If you see me around, tell me how I made you laugh, angry, sad, or think; if not, just yell or boo at me when I pass the stage at graduation. This was all for you.
Jovanni Bello is a senior majoring in computer information systems and can be reached at email@example.com.