I twirled around and plunked down in a seat next to a familiar face. “Good, good,” I replied in response to his small talk.
He is my first, and perhaps only friend in the Mass Communications department. The transition from the art section to the more businesslike and insipid communications division was nearly as difficult as I’d envisioned, as I left my accustomed classmates behind and ventured into a new building scores of unfamiliar faces. A brand-new beginning, indeed; a brand-new, lonely, and frustrating beginning.
But my new acquaintance was never shy nor afraid as I’ve seen others react to me in the past, and we engaged in a short and superficial discussion on the first day of class when we simultaneously agreed that our instructor reminded us of a carnival worker as he heckled us to congregate to the front of the classroom. We have spoken each class period since.
He is a good type of friend, though he is unaware of this thought of mine. We sit next to one another and whisper undirected questions about the class material, back and forth until we reach a conclusion (which is usually just laughing followed by shrugging our shoulders).
I once noticed that amidst his notes of the impact of books and media conglomerations, he had meticulously sketched several athletic shoes and Nike ‘swooshes’. Each was detailed and I could almost see as he drew, his subject matter was something he was very passionate about. I later learned that he works at FootLocker while studying part-time due to financial reasons, and has future aspirations of one day owning his own shoe store.
For me to tell you this story is one thing, but it really does no justice to my friend’s passion. Many students – often myself – look at their education and, to a large extent, are uncertain of where and when it will all add up. Personally I feel that I am a long ways off from knowing my future destination (and as a spontaneous person, is it any wonder?), and am certainly on no “Four-year plan” that the majority of college students envision. “Finishing college in four years is like leaving the party at 9:00”, a friend once told me; if that is the case then folks, the party is just getting started and I’ll be there all night.
Enough about my foreseen endless college years! That is not the point of this story. The point is, the astounding admiration I have for this young man and his dreams cannot be put to words, but I will say that I can only pray for as much bearing to come upon me and point me down the right trail. May determination come over me enough so to conquer each day with certitude.
“See you soon,” he said as he egressed from the classroom.
“See you soon,” I replied, and walked on behind, silently thankful for his friendship.
He is the beginning of my beginnings, and an inspiration to my prospects – and he will never know.