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Confessions of a Colin: Words from a soon-to-be alumnus

ColinOpinionAll week, I have been pondering about what I wanted this Concordian article to look like. A “what’s next” for me, a “what my Cobber experience could have been” or a final homage to the loving, albeit fashion backward, Scarf Boy.

Well, what’s next for me is that I’m moving to Denver, CO with the lovely Geneva Nemzek. I have no idea what I’m going to do (if you have any connections, hit me up), where I’m going to live or what it’s going to be like to live that far from home. I’m filled with terror and excitement for this new and exhilarating journey.

What the Cobber experience could have been for me is irrelevant. Would I have changed some things? Absolutely. More accountability, more intentional leadership and friendship choices, and an increased focus on my basic needs would definitely have been incorporated into my life earlier. But these experiences, even my grandest mistakes, have taught me so much. I’ve laughed my hardest, cried my loudest, and loved my deepest during my 4 years at Concordia… My life has been changed, and I regret nothing.

Scarf Boy’s story has been given more homage than he or I could ever have imagined. To take a nickname that was used to bully me freshman year and reclaim it as my own has been one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done, proving yet again that my perception of myself is greater than the sum of other people’s perceptions of me. By crafting the narrative of my past, I have the ability to define my present and future.

Since I’ve covered all the topics I brainstormed, I’ll continue to craft the narrative of my past by closing with some non-anonymous confessions. Here are my Confessions of a Colin:

1) I skipped class WAY too much. Like, a lot. Like, people-asking-me-if-I-dropped-out a lot. And while I would never condone this behavior, and am genuinely sad to have missed quality information, I will forever validate the “mental health day” and remain proud of myself for making the choices that, at the time, seemed best for me.

2) I ran for Vice President of SGA to be more popular, which may have been one of the most ironic choices I’ve ever made. Initially, I invested my time and energy in SGA to better my image rather than to better this campus. I’m sorry about that. Through this vain decision, however, my passion for changing the affairs of Concordia has vastly increased.

3) As a sophomore, I stole a bowl from DS. I thought it was a cool thing to do and have since lost it. I will gladly pay the difference, but it feels nice to get that one off my chest.

4) My activism with SAGA started as nothing more than a resume builder. Andrew Eilola, the past SAGA president, had to essentially force me to run for Vice President. This decision, however reluctant, changed my life forever. My passion for activism and the LGBTQ community has never been stronger, and this group of people has quickly become my family.

5) I have let people down too many times to count. Missing a meeting, being late to a rehearsal, missing work, being forever late on rent (sorry Tanner), being forever late for Concordian deadlines (sorry Jacob), and failing to complete tasks on time are just scraping the surface of ways in which I’ve disappointed people. Rest assured, all this disappointment was internalized and has stayed with me. However, being able to forgive myself has proven vital in being able to keep moving forward. Thank you to everyone who has been so patient with me when I didn’t always deserve it. Through these consistent shortcomings, I have learned that a person cannot be defined as a sum of their faults but rather as a product of their context. I take full responsibility for these experiences but will not let them ruin me. Thank you for helping me recognize that.

It’s really hard to reflect on these mistakes and publicly write about them. These aren’t my proudest moments nor my fondest memories. However, they serve as a springboard for the discovery of new passions, the acceptance of real circumstances, and the importance of self-reflection. Giving voice to my mistakes lets me learn from them, instead of living in a constant state of regret.

Advice from the second-to-last-column of a soon-to-be-alum: recognize your mistakes, own up to them and see them for what they are – a mere part of a bigger and more beautiful picture.

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