I was wrong

Thomas Jilk

As I sit down to write this semi-heartfelt, probably-too-drawn-out goodbye, I can’t help but think of all the times I was drastically, miserably wrong about this university, myself and the world over these last five-and-a-half years.

I was wrong in the very first column I wrote a year ago for this paper, entitled “In Defense of Tyson Summers.” I won’t explain why. You all know by now.

I was wrong when I thought Student Media would be just a club that looked good on my resume, and never another group of friends and an all-important campus home base.

When my mom asked me, “Are you sure you can pledge a fraternity and keep your grades up and stay out of trouble?” and I replied with a confident “Yup,” I was, you guessed it, extremely wrong.

To this day, every time I think Statesboro is a cultureless hick town that would elect a lifted Silverado as its next mayor, I have to remind myself of the incredible diversity of students, faculty and citizens that actually call this place home.

As incorrect as I’ve been, and continue to be about so many things, I’m grateful nonetheless.

I’m grateful for the editorial board of this paper, and the long hours they put in every semester – on top of regular coursework – to ensure the student body gets quality content to read.

For relationships forged through arguing about which headline to use or who started the chronic ant problem in the Williams Center, I’m thankful.

I’ve had an incredible opportunity to cover Georgia Southern athletics, to meet coaches, players and administrators, and to see history happen, no matter how insignificant. For all of that, I’m obviously very grateful.

I will leave you with a few pieces of advice as a monocle-wearing, cane-holding senior citizen of the student body.

First, don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong. As confident as some may seem, we’re all in the same boat in college. It’s an old, crusty sailboat named “What Am I Really Doing?”

Second, be grateful. Just by being here, we have a leg up. Only about a third of Americans have a bachelor’s degree or better. A wise man named Willie Nelson once confessed, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”

Finally, go out and do something. Anything. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it – maybe you’ll make a career out of it.