Yes, you. You, the reader, who stumbled into my column expecting another scathing opinion piece from another Cobber, only to find out that it was satire most weeks. You, friends and strangers, who told me to start writing, and keep writing, because humor can influence people’s opinions in ways normal arguments cannot. You, the professors who teased me relentlessly — all in good fun, of course — about Fake News in order to make me think more critically, more creatively. You, the critics, who felt it was poorly written, not funny enough or not coming from the right angle. Yes, all of you — this one’s for you.
Thank you for making me realize one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my four years at Concordia: life is hard. Sure, everyone knows this to some extent. They tell you that on the first day of college. Or, if we go way back, we all survived middle school. That was hard. Anything after that is nothing. And yet, sometimes, to get ahead, you have to take a risk. Avoid sitting with the cool kids in the cafeteria. Wear your non-Hollister shirt with pride. Say no to drugs.
I took a risk with this column. I’m not here to write about that, about the controversies I created that were worthy of national publicity, or about my own insecurities before and during this ongoing experiment. But I am here to be super cheesy and inspirational. So here goes.
Life is short. We are constantly bombarded with millions of decisions to make. Whether you liked it or not, I tried doing a satirical column. Sometimes I really did regret it. Sometimes I was very thankful.
I think this is how any major decision turns out. A lot of having no idea what I am doing, a lot of wondering if I should have done something else, or done nothing
at all. In ten years, however, nobody will remember that I wrote satire for The Concordian (unless I’m working for the Onion, of course. Maybe then I can finally be featured on Concordia’s website). Whatever I went through this year to produce a piece every week that I hoped you’d all read, that is what I will really remember.
I learned something from this. I learned just how much of an impact my actions can make, positive or otherwise. People read, people react. I am, of course, just using my satire as a way to communicate a bigger message, but this is my point: life would be different if you didn’t do that thing. That one thing, whatever it is. Do it. Even if nobody remembers in ten years, they will for now, and you will remember. You’ll remember how hard it was, or how fun, or how slow, or whatever it was. You’ll remember, because your decision to do it matters.
Take a risk. Do that thing that sounds crazy. Even if that means waiting until senior year to try something, it’s better late than never. People will be grateful and supportive. They’ll be impressed that you tried. And you should be, too.
So again, thanks. Thank you for making me realize my life is way more exciting when I step out of my comfort zone. Thank you for helping me stand up for myself a little more, for helping me create a voice for myself, written or otherwise. Thank you for your criticism, for making me understand I can never impress everyone. Thank you for everything.
It’s been a fun year. With the last issue of The Concordian, it’s hard to imagine what comes next — for the paper or myself. And yet, I know I’ll continue to remember what it felt like to have an audience who could help me see things more clearly, inspire and motivate me, and challenge me.
Find your own satire. I don’t mean that in a snarky way. I don’t mean logging on to the Onion website or the Borowitz Report from the New Yorker, or watching SNL or reruns of Colbert, although I do encourage all of these things. I mean, find your own passion. Find a risk you hope to take but have been scared to do, and then do it anyway. Because life is short and funny and weird and nobody really has time for being too critical of themselves. Let others judge you — they will — and then let others praise you — they will.
Thank you, readers. It’s been an adventure. I hope to someday read about your own crazy experiences. Until then, try not to take things too seriously.
A novice satirist and professional advice-giver