Learn to live outside your personal bubble

Isabel Johnson, Opinion Editor

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My life is not very exciting. I’m content to stay home and play video games when not in class, going out maybe once a week to do something like party, or see the sunlight. It’s not that I’m some pastey weirdo in a basement, though I am pale because I burn like crazy if not covered in sunscreen. I’m just not reliant on a bustling social schedule to feel fulfilled. It takes a lot of incentives for me to give up my lazy afternoons of brutally killing NPCs in my favorite game.
The Oak Leaf is one of the few activities that can drag me away from that. Not because I want to be a journalist. I actually would make a terrible journalist. I’m never sure what the hell to write about for my column. I adopt and then abandon idea after idea, muttering to myself and procrastinating. I should have written this by deadline, but I didn’t. The Thursday after deadline was a good day to write it as well, but I went drinking with friends instead.
I’m in a dinky portable at the back of campus, with red pens stuck in the ceiling and a unicorn poster on the wall in front of me. Issue after issue, people miss deadlines, stories fall through, I procrastinate, somebody else gets sick and it feels like we’re not going to make it to print with anything even semi-coherent.
The thing is, no matter how insanely frustrating it can be to go from a week of classes to a weekend of staring at other people’s mistakes, I keep coming back for more. There’s a kind of demented camaraderie that comes from the twisted torture of giving up our weekends to put together a paper that many students don’t seem to realize exists. At this point, one of my primary ways of judging a person’s character is: could they survive the Oak Leaf? It’s not that we’ve ever had a death on staff, although three of us wound up going to the ER last issue, myself included, for medical reasons completely unrelated to the paper.
Maybe if I was into massively multiplayer online games, like World of Warcraft, I wouldn’t be here. Of course, I am relatively certain that this is a better way to seek socialization than killing virtual dragons with a bunch of people I’ll never meet. I’m very, very sure that I will never seek employment at a newspaper, but I’m still glad to be a student journalist, because sometimes you have to do something that’s seemingly unrelated to your life’s path to remember that there is more to life than what cubicle you’ll be working in 20 years from now.
I think the best part about college is that we don’t have to know what the heck we’re doing yet. We can still change our minds, or realize that something is fun as a club or hobby, but not what we want to do for the rest of our lives. We can befriend people who are on the surface completely different from ourselves, and realize that in the end, we’re all people. Best of all, we can learn really cool stuff and meet awesome people, and a few months later learn something else completely different but still cool and find a whole new group of people to commiserate and gripe with. So break out of your shell and live a little, JC. You won’t be in college forever.

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