Letter from the editor: You are not alone

BY JORDAN OTERO
Editor-in-Chief

When sitting down to write this, my last editorial, I had no idea what to write.

There is anything but a shortage of political and social issues at my disposal to commentate on. I’m certainly nitpicky enough to find something that irks me about life in the Ohio Valley (case in point: the closest Dunkin’ Donuts is an hour away. This New England girl suffers daily). But I knew the usual routes wouldn’t do this time.

As my final piece for The Troubadour, and in light of graduation, I wanted my words to be meaningful, inspirational and insightful. You know, a mash-up between Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” — something vaguely reminiscent of what most of us heard at our high school graduations.

I battled with the words that struggled to flow, and I began to wonder how I was going to make an impact with this last piece.

I’ve written farewells before. I served as editor-in-chief of my high school’s monthly newspaper and printed a rather snarky, bitter column in the last issue of the year I graduated; high school wasn’t the most positive experience for me and I was ready to leave.

Four years later, I find myself with faced with the same task I was four years ago as a senior at Southington High School, except while I’m excited to experience the world beyond Steubenville, I don’t feel ready to leave Franciscan University.

Therein lay my dilemma: if I myself feel anxious and overwhelmed about what is to come, how can I imbue my words with meaning?

After thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that meaningfulness does not necessarily come from wisdom. Rather, it comes from honesty.

Just because the words in these four columns aren’t poetically stated or backed up with years of research and formalities (in fact, I’d argue this is the most casual editorial I’ve written all year) does not make them more or less meaningful, inspirational or insightful.

Honesty can often pack a bigger punch than poetry or statistics.

So, if I’m going to be honest — with both myself and you, our readers — I need to tell you that if you, whether a senior or not, have no idea what you’re doing with your life after graduation, you’re not alone. I’ve been told uncertainty is the free gift with purchase that comes with a college diploma.

I’m scared of post-graduation life. I don’t have a job lined up. I haven’t heard back from any of the 60-some-odd places I’ve sent my résumé. I’m torn between desperately wanting my independence, and being ready to move back to Connecticut and spend an indefinite amount of time at home.

I’d be lying to myself more than I’d be lying to you if I tried to write an editorial about life after graduation and ignored the reality we all face.

But there is a light of hope that shines in the darkness of the fear, doubt and worry, encouraging us that there is a plan:

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” — Jeremiah 29:11

Congratulations class of 2014.

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