8B The Statement // Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A LESSON FOUR YEARS IN TI
have always been relatively sake of full disclosure, I'll admit that
behind the curve when it comes by the time I had my first real kiss,
to milestones in life. most of my peers were several bases
Obviously, I blame my parents for ahead of me. I reached legal drink-
this abnormality. Born in September, ing age many agonizing months after
they had the choice of making me the nearly all of my classmates. And at
oldest kid or the youngest in my grade, 21, I am just now getting my 12-year
and wanting to believe their firstborn molars.
was exceptionally gifted, pushed me So while I never particularly
into preschool early, forever cement- enjoyed always being a step behind
ing my status as the token "young one." my peers, I accepted it as a simple fact
I struggled through a year and half of life and settled into the comfort
of bar and bat mitzvahs before it was of knowing I'd always be late to the
my turn on the bema. The appeal of game.
boy bands didn't hit me until they When I got to college, I thought
were on their way out. I was the last that maybe I would finally be able to
one to get a driver's license and spent catch up - or at least speed up - to
my junior year of high school bum- the pace set by the masses.
ming rides to avoid the bus. For the I joined a few clubs, rushed a soror-
HKbubble. Trying something new meant
H E lv M A KiN G getting a different dressing on the
same salad I ordered at the restau-
rant Iate at all the time. I knew what I
liked and I stuck with it.
Three years later, I was still coast-
ing along, doing what I'd been doing
since freshman year with the same
people I'd been doing it with in the
same places as always. The routine of
ity, pregamed on football Saturdays, my freshman, sophomore and junior
hung out with the kids on my floor, years was beginning to lose some of
talked shit about my GSIs, drank crap- its former luster.
py beer and pulled all nighters. By all I jokingly referred to what was
accounts, I was on par with the rest of afflicting me as ennui - a feeling of
my class, on track to becoming a stan- inexplicable listlessness - but the
more I said it, the less
"There was no flash of light, funny it got. Even
a brief stint abroad
no epiphany or revelatory during winter 2009
couldn't pull me out of
moment, but I realized some- the funk I'd fallen into.
I still loved my friends
thing had to change..." and the University, but
the summer before my
dard college student. senior year found me sitting opposite
And despite the repetitiveness of a psychologist once a week, trying to
my actions, I was completely content figure out what was bugging me.
in my consistent and homogenous After several weeks and several
payments, the problem was exposed
as a case of the doldrums. I was sad
about my impending graduation. I
worried about my prospects after
college. I wondered if my relation-
ships would be the same when every-
book one returned to Ann Arbor.
I was stuck in a serious rut that
t d was a result of minimal variation in
it ha rd . my habits and an inherent fear to
move outside of my comfort zone.
There was no flash of light, no
is , e a sy. epiphany or revelatory moment, but
WU J I realized something had to change if
I was going to truly embrace my last
year on campus. In keeping with the
theme of this issue, I'll say that my
senior year bucket list came to con-
sist of one major goal: try something
Enter The Michigan Daily.
Traditionally, students get
involved with the paper earlier in
their college careers rather than
later, work their asses off in the name
of editorial freedom through the first
half of their senior year and then
(caffeine + 8 key nutrientS take a much-needed break during
their final semester.
Olin e + choline) Keeping with my own personal
tradition, I was late to this phenom-
So now, rather than spending my
weeknights drinking with the rest
of the senior class, I'm in the news-
' inw 'rroom, one of only a handful of sec-
. wa er
ond-semester seniors still on staff.
Now bear with me for a moment as
I am a senior and we tend to get sen-
timental. I won't get into specifics or
cheesy, emotional details, but I will
say this about my time at the Daily:
what began as a whim and a group of
people who were merely acquaintanc-
es quickly evolved into a deep respect
for the tradition of the paper and true
You know a relationship is getting
serious when the realization hits that
you talkto your editors more than your
own parents. But despite the disagree-
ments over headlines, page layouts,
sentence structure and where we'd eat
dinner, my colleagues in the newsroom
became my extended family.
Most are younger than me and at
first I was naturally inclined to think
I knew better. But I quickly learned to
shut up and listen. I now respect this
group of amazing people more than I
think I could ever effectively convey
They may be just a bunch of col-
lege students with access to a printing
press, but they never cease to amaze
me with their dedication, brilliance
and capacity for simultaneous profes-
sionalism and compassion.
So now that my time at the Daily
is officially over and I realize what a
truly incredible and influential part
of my life it has been, I could easily
bemoan my late start. But rather than
look back and lament "coulda, woul-
da, shoulda," I choose to embrace the
experience I've had.
This maybe mypersonal statement,
my own experience at Michigan, but
the gist of what I'm tryingto say is not
unique to only me. I am positive I am
not the only person on this campus
who has experienced the phenom-
enon of despondency. Looking back
at my seemingly contended fresh-
man self, I am sad for that girl and for
everyone who doesn't embrace new
opportunities when given the chance
or seek an experience other than what
they're used to.
We so often hear people say, "col-
lege is the only time in your life you
can do this" or, "once you're in the
real world, that won't be acceptable."
While I agree to some extent - streak-
ing through the quad probablyisn't OK
when you're married with kids - it's
never reallytoo late. Being ahead of the
curve is overrated.E
- Allie White is an LSA senior and
The Statement's Deputy Editor.
rA 11 X/ ^K
FIN I DA LIILY N