Reflection on a Bradley career

It is Scout tradition for seniors to write farewell columns. At first, I didn’t want to do it.

How could I sum up my four years at Bradley in less than 600 words? It seemed impossible. All the memories, the moments, the good times and the bad.

I stared at a blank word document for more than an hour. I would start to write then I’d find myself hitting the backspace button. Anyone who’s met me knows I’m rarely at a loss for words, but reflecting on my time in Peoria left me speechless for a long time.

The last four years have flown by in the blink of an eye.

Bradley felt like home from the minute I stepped on campus. It just seemed right. But on move-in day I was scared to death. I’m from Indiana. I didn’t know a soul. I had no idea what the future held or what to expect.

Four years later, I have made memories that will last a lifetime. I have done things I never thought I would. I have made friends that I will never and could never forget. I have gone from shy and unsure of myself to someone who is confident and completely comfortable in my own skin.

It hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies. I’ve made mistakes and been in more than my fair share of trouble. But I’ve learned and grown in ways I never thought were possible.

I joined the Scout second semester of my freshman year. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Working for this paper has allowed me to cover sports I love and gain real world experience you can’t learn in classes.

It hasn’t always been fun. Some weeks the last thing I wanted to do was walk into the office to get the paper ready for Friday. But I made friends and memories that I am incredibly thankful for. To everyone I worked with, I can’t thank you enough for putting up with my antics. From drilling you with tennis balls I chucked at the wall to writing what I thought was hilarious (and possibly offensive) comments on news pages, I hope I at least made those long hours in The Scout office a little more bearable.

The last four years have been full of classes, homework, tests and stress. I’m not going to miss any of it. I’ve never been the best student. School has never interested me, and I have a transcript to prove it. But I know Bradley has provided me with a top-notch education that will prepare me for whatever the future holds. For that, I am grateful.

But when I look back on college years from now, I’m not going to remember the countless hours of studying and classes.

I’m going to remember going to Williams cafeteria with friends freshman year and seeing how many rice krispies treats we could eat because it was the only thing edible. I’m going to remember sneaking enough alcohol to get a small army drunk into Uhall then promptly getting caught by the RAs an hour into the party. I’m going to remember procrastinating writing a speech until 4 a.m. because we were going to get to level 40 on zombies and school be damned. I’m going to remember the countless walks home from Farmington Road discussing all the girls we struck out with. And I’m going to remember all the nights at the Basketcase butchering classic karaoke songs.

I’m going to remember a lot of things, but most of all I’m going to remember the friends who were there to put their arm around me when I needed it the most. I didn’t expect to make friends who have become like brothers and sisters to me when I came to Bradley years ago. But I can’t be more thankful that I did.

I wouldn’t change my college experience for the world. Thank you to anyone and everyone who made it special.