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Reflecting on my year as editor in chief and the true lessons of college

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MATTHEW BUNCH

It’s hard to believe an entire year has come and gone. It’s hard to believe my tenure as editor in chief is coming to an end. It’s hard to believe it’s almost summer!

All those things are exciting and scary and exhausting, but I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned and experienced and try to relate it to our readership.

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone on the staff of The Miami Hurricane for an amazing year. I have had the best staff in the world of college publications and, without them, a twice-weekly newspaper would be impossible. Of special note are the seniors, who include Danny Bull (multimedia editor), Erika Capek (assistant news editor), Joshua W. Newman (opinion editor), Pravin Patel (sports editor), Nate Harris (copy desk chief) and Lauren Whiddon (multimedia editor). And I can’t leave out my long-serving compatriot on the business side, Nick Maslow. Good luck to all of you in your post-graduate pursuits, and I’ll see you in the BUC on the 15th.

Now on to what I’ve learned. I risk becoming cliché, but as I sit around Lake Osceola for my last few days as a student here, I reflect on the best times and wish I could relive them again. I still remember Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and the crazy parties that followed. I still remember crushing Virginia Tech as the whole school was crammed in the Rathskeller. I still remember when SportsFest mattered so much, and losing to Hecht might as well have been the end of the world. Those memories, and so many more, really illustrate why college is so valuable.

So much is put on U.S. News and World Report rankings and student-to-faculty ratios, but the most important learning the college experience offers is outside the classroom. It’s learning how to be less of an awkward mess when surrounded by a bunch of your peers and a cooler of beers. It’s learning how to get food in your stomach when you forgot dinner and all of a sudden it’s 2 a.m. It’s learning how to bring a bunch of college students together twice a week and somehow, after long hours in a small newsroom, producing a newspaper. College’s most important lessons are social, not academic.

So to those lucky enough to have more time at this fine institution, relish it. To those of you who say you can’t wait to get out of here, don’t you say that. Don’t you ever say that. Stay here. Stay here as long as you can. For the love of God, cherish it. You have to cherish it! From Billy Madison’s mouth to God’s ears, it’s the best bit of advice you can ever hope to get. Good luck to everyone, and keep reading next year. It’s going to be better than ever.

April 29, 2009

Reporters

Matthew Bunch


4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Reflecting on my year as editor in chief and the true lessons of college”

  1. David,

    My note isn’t to imply that attending classes and soaking in all the academic opportunities provided at the University of Miami isn’t incredibly valuable, but merely to say that sometimes we get a little too wrapped up in GPA points and exams, and forget that the most memorable, and most valuable, memories are those shared with the friends you make here.

    When I first came to UM, I was a 17-year old petrified to do anything besides attending class. Through the help of friends and shared experiences, I’ve grown into someone that I think is much more able to really enjoy life and tackle its challenges. As we seniors leave UM, we’re going to be facing a similar challenge, and it’s important to be reminded that you shouldn’t let life pass you by.

    I disagree greatly that UM is somehow a “Country Club” (although the lovely groundskeeping sometimes makes you feel like it is) for providing opportunities outside the classroom. Perhaps you should think about your time here a little bit and reflect on everything you learned, and I bet a lot of those things took place outside of Memorial or the LC.

  2. David Barakat says:

    I find your reflections to be infuriating. Are you to tell me that the most valuable thing that you took away from an institution of higher learning was to be social? It just goes to show how Universities are becoming more like country clubs for 18-22 year-olds rather than centers for knowledge. The education system in this country is just a big joke.

    David Barakat
    Class of 2005

  3. Your well-wishes are greatly appreciated Ben, thank you. It’s our pleasure to be able to share information with Canes around the globe.

  4. Ben Leis says:

    Thanks for all your work Matt and staff. Alumni like me really appreciate all the time you put in and keeping us connected to what is going on on campus. Good luck and let me know if there is anything I can do for you in the future.

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.