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So long, and goodnight; reflections at the end of my college journey

Tyler Jackman


It’s been years since I’ve first received my acceptance letter, books in hand and a fresh eagerness in my mind, ready to start my journey through college. Now, as I approach the end of this journey, the one thing I could never have prepared for is the overwhelming sense of bittersweetness. College has granted me both moments of triumph and distress alike, from winning awards and celebrating with friends to gripping my hair in frustration at an endless mountain of assignments. Reflecting back on it, I wouldn’t change a thing in the end. Until it is over, no one can predict the way academia will change who you are as a person.

Entering college as a doe-eyed teenager many years ago, I was ready to blaze through it and get my computer programming degree in the blink of an eye. It was a natural progression; I studied computer networking in high school, and it made good money in the workforce, so why not? Hence, my first piece of advice to all of those still in the journey; don’t fear change. It dawned quickly on me that, personally, this major brought me opportunity but no joy. I finished my associate's degree at CCRI undeclared, but by the time I began at RIC I decided to dip my toes into communication’s. This made all the difference; pursuing media communications at RIC, as well as deciding to join The Anchor student newspaper, opened my eyes to a new and daunting path in my life that would unlock not only opportunities, but excitement.

Image credits: Sam Gervais

Speaking of this, my next advice to students is to never shy away from opportunity. A reality check that is unfortunately needed is that degrees are not keys to the castle. In order to boldly pursue your dream career, you need to show that you take every opportunity with conviction and confidence. Truth be told, I was a shy individual entering college, and I sought to be a “ghost” and quickly progress without making a ruckus, like I did in high school. It dawned on me, however, that letting the waves crash upon me won’t prepare me for “a better life,” but taking control into my own hands will. Since deciding to join The Anchor, I’ve been blessed to become the Editor-in-Chief of the organization, lectured courses on the invitation of professors, and represented RIC at the New England First Amendment Institute. Never could I have imagined these opportunities being granted to the fresh-faced Tyler just entering college. Looking back, it harkens to a quote from one of my favorite television shows, “Game of Thrones,” that I’ve kept rattling around my brain. “Kill the boy, and let the man be born.”

Of course, college is not just about building yourself up to be a monolith. It is, more than anything, about building those moments which you will cherish for years to come. So, don’t be afraid to get involved on campus and forge connections. From every experience you may fear or doubt, a new friend or a new memory may emerge. Prioritize your self-care above all else, and surround yourself with a support system that will cheer you when you fall. I don’t think I’d be here writing this farewell without the dear friends I’ve made at The Anchor the past year and a half. It’s not only the work we achieved together I’m proud of, but the late night cram sessions and crashing on the couch, the student events, the celebrations and even just the jokes and laughs shared. That’s something I’ll miss more than anything.

So, Rhode Island College, I bid you adieu. Leaving CCRI, I thought that it’d be the greatest pleasure calling my college experience done, and leaving RIC, I realize now how hard it is to go. Yet, no matter what, I leave not only filled with pride at what my friends and I have achieved and will achieve, but the same for every single RIC student. If I can leave with my final parting words, it’s to never be afraid to be bold, love hard, and remember that you are a member of the generation that will change the world.

This is Tyler Jackman, Editor-in-Chief, signing off. Stay groovy, RIC.


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