Chatroulette, midget wrestling and Benji: College years gone by

My first article for the Scout came out in September of 2008, at a time when most people at this university were still in high school. It feels like ages ago.

I was a freshman, in my first few weeks in college and I was just starting to figure out who I was, what I wanted to do and what my experience was going to be.

Over four years, I’ve changed. Gone are the days when I introduced myself as “my name is Jackson Adams and I’m an asshole.” I’m still not unbelievably comfortable with the person I am but I’ve grown, I’ve changed.

I’ve joked about it with people before but when I think back on my college experience, I’m going to remember my time on the third floor of Sisson Hall, in the Scout newsroom more than anything else.

I’m going to remember fixing a story that couldn’t run, I’m going to remember writing content for off-staff writers who had mysteriously disappeared when deadlines rolled around and I’m going to remember delivering papers one cold December morning when a girl confused me for a homeless person (I know, it was the beard).

I’ll treasure the time I interviewed a band of midget wrestlers who were performing in a hotel basement, I’ll reminisce about talking to Lupe Fiasco about our mutual love of late ’70s punk rock and I’ll forever be haunted by the six hours I spent on Chatroulette for a massive feature on the creepiest web site I’ve been on in a couple of years.

That all pales in comparison to subjecting my digestive system and immediately paying the price for eating the KFC Double Down, laughing about genitals with the guys from the Found Footage Festival or sipping Maker’s Mark and talking about the fourth Benji movie with the Hood Internet.

I didn’t have the conventional college experience and sometimes that’s weird to look back on.

I spent so much time watching and reporting on what people did that it didn’t always feel like I was doing anything. That being said, looking back, I think I gained so much from what I’ve done for the last four years, and they have made me the writer that I am.

At the time, I’m sure endless, pithy reviews of Chuck Norris movies, indie bands that readers didn’t care about or shows that I was more interested in than anyone else seemed pointless, but it helped me to become a better writer and a better person.

I understand people better, understand what they want and need and understand better how to talk with others.

Being forced to interview people, being able to see other people’s motivations and actions helped me to get better at just being a normal person.

I can’t get over the way that being a journalist and constantly having to write something that people presumably read helped me to get over my hang-ups with being around so many creative, smart and interesting people.

So, as I get ready to graduate college, enter the real world and deal with all of the challenges that I’m sure to face, I want to reintroduce myself one more time to this school.

My name is Jackson Adams and I am not an asshole.