When I arrived here almost five years ago, I had recently completed a period of time equal to that endeavoring toward the first part of my degree while working 40 plus hours a week. To say that it was challenging was an understatement. After beginning my studies here, it became even more challenging as I held a full course load-sometimes more-while commuting back and forth to West Palm Beach three times a week. It seems almost unimaginable now that I did that for nearly three years without absolutely burning myself out. But I did it and I made it through to graduation in 2005. Aside from the day I graduated from Marine Corps boot camp nearly 20 years ago, graduation was indeed the proudest day of my life.
As I approach my next graduation date in a little less than two months, I’m faced with confronting life after college. I’ve never looked on it as a matter of apprehension and up until recently, it’s been something I’ve not really thought about. Having been working on my degrees for so long, actually finishing them seemed something of an abstract concept. But here I am.
One of the things that will also be coming to an end is my involvement in the various activities I’ve enjoyed being a part of. When I first joined UM’s College Republican chapter, I had no intention of being anything other than a regular member. And yet nearly five years later not only did I end up serving as Chairman of the UM club, but last weekend I completed my term of office as State Chairman of the Florida College Republicans. Once it was something I reveled in; when my term was coming to a close I couldn’t remember why I stayed so long. If I had it to do all over again, I would never have gone beyond service to the local CR group, since that’s where the most important activism is accomplished.
The other major endeavor was my opinion column here in The Hurricane. I’ve loved every minute of my time spent on it. I’ve been greatly moved by those of you who have let me know of your support of my column as well as those who have let me know that my words have inspired you somehow. Even my critics have paid me a compliment by reading my words, and some of them have become good friends of mine.
It has indeed been one of the greatest experiences in my life coming here to UM. Being able to share my thoughts here has been part of what’s made it so special. But like all things, this too must pass into history. From my first column back in October 2002 to this, I’ve enjoyed every opportunity to speak to you.
Good luck to all of you, and a heartfelt thank you for five very good years.
Scott Wacholtz is a graduate student concentrating in Middle Eastern history. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org