Last Words from the Guardian Seniors

Over the last three years, I have noticed that the final articles from outgoing editors are used primarily for three purposes: to give advice, to thank family and friends, and to reflect on events that have happened to the writers throughout their years at UCSD. After thinking about how I would use mine, I decided to do all three.

My advice for the students of this school who are not yet in my position is simple, and it’s advice that you have heard from me many times throughout the last three years.

It is simply this: You are responsible for your own happiness, so take that responsibility.

It is indeed true that our school is somewhat socially challenged. It is also true that, unless you work hard at it, finding a good time can be very elusive. But to those of you who say that it is impossible to have a good time here, I say, “”Get a life.””

A famous comedian said it best: “”If you can’t find something to do, then you aren’t bored, you are boring.”” This couldn’t be more true.

Entertainment doesn’t simply fall out of the sky. There are a lot of times that you have to make your own fun. That’s hard to do when you’re studying constantly or going home every weekend.

I am a management science major, so I often put it in terms of economics. If you can have fun three nights a week as opposed to zero nights a week, and end up with a GPA that is one tenth of a point lower than you would have had, I have a hard time believing that you don’t consider that in your best interest. The benefits, as far as I am concerned, far outweigh the costs.

I was lucky. I realized that in high school, I did way more work and stressed way more about grades than I had to. I would have ended up here with a slightly lower GPA and SAT score, but I didn’t realize that at the time. Once I was here, I took that knowledge to heart and enjoyed my time as much as I could.

I am going to UCLA law school in the fall — somewhere I have always wanted to go, so I don’t think that my excessive entertainment hurt me too much. I have done many things wrong in my time here, but that is one of the things I did right.

Another piece of advice originally came from a Guardian editor during my freshman year. I don’t even know his name and have never met him, but I remember reading his final article. He said, and I now repeat, “”A life without risk is a life that isn’t worth living.””

Again, being a management science major and being in classes that repeatedly tell you that risk is a bad thing and that humans are averse to risk, this is hard advice for me to swallow. However, it is very true. If every day of your life is a “”normal”” day, then you are doomed to a life of monotony.

Get out and take a chance. Sometimes you will fail and sometimes you will succeed, but in the end it’s the attempt that will make you a better person. I have taken many chances in my time here, and many of them have not turned out the way that I have wanted, but I wouldn’t take back any of them. In fact, I wish that I had taken quite a few more. You will never expand yourself as a person if you never step outside yourself and take a chance.

As far as thanking people, it is hard to know where to begin.

I suppose the first thanks go to my parents and family. They supported me financially and emotionally throughout my time here. I have had some of the highest highs as well as some of the lowest lows of my life in the past three years, but my mom, dad, and sister, Emily, have been there to help me revel in the good times as well as console me in the bad ones. I am eternally grateful to them for that.

I would also like to thank the friends I’ve met here, as well as friends such as Aaron, who I knew well before college but who also played a huge role in my college life. After my freshman year, I had only a few close friends — a situation that I was not used to.

Luckily for me, I was randomly paired with my sophomore apartmentmate Brendan. We became good friends and met other friends through each other. The result was a group of people without whom I could not have gotten through these four years.

I was talking with my friend Joey the other night about how odd it was that he and I — a Revelle student and a Warren student, a political science major and a management science major — have ended up such good friends. All I can say about him, and many of my other friends whom I met through random chance, is that I simply got lucky and am glad that I did.

The last group of people that I would like to thank are my Guardian cohorts. I always knew that I would be thanking you, because from the very beginning I considered you guys some of the most competent and able people I’ve ever met. Whenever work needed to get done, there were always people there to do it and to do it well.

This was never more evident than a few weeks ago when our computer crashed at 10 p.m. and essentially erased all of our saved material. We stayed there until nearly 4 a.m. making up for what we’d lost. Without the expertise of the people there that night, it could never have gotten finished.

I didn’t, however, know that I would be thanking you guys as friends until halfway through this year. Until that point, I just did my job and left. But when I broke up with my serious girlfriend of more than a year, I realized how close you guys had become. I will always owe you all for helping me through one of the roughest times of my life.

It is impossible to single anyone out because you all were so great and understanding. I consider that time a blessing because of all that I learned and the friends I realized I had.

As far as memorable events, I have a hard time narrowing them down. This year’s Memorial Day trip to Las Vegas was possibly the best time of my life. I still, and will forever, think back and smile about that weekend and all the fun that my friends and I had drinking, gambling, drinking, and just basically being menaces to society. And drinking, too.

I can’t think about my time here at UCSD without thinking about my first true love, Ingrid. Although things didn’t work out the way that we had hoped they would, I will always be grateful to her for all that she taught me about life and love. I am truly a different person for the experience. She taught me that although love sometimes hurts terribly, the good times make it all worth it.

Finally, to bring all of the three parts of this article together, I relate something that happened during sophomore year. This was the time immediately before I began dating Ingrid and a time when I had to make a decision between her and one of my close friends. Despite all the derogatory sayings that tell you to choose otherwise, I chose the girl. In spite of the heartache that I felt after the breakup and the pain I felt when I realized I would never see my friend again, I would never and could never make a different choice.

The advice part of the story is this: There will be certain times when you have to make a choice because you can’t make it any other way. You have to choose that way because your life would never be the same if you didn’t. During these times, it is important to make the choice you know that you have to make. I would never have forgiven myself if I had chosen the opposite way and was sitting here today wondering if this person that I knew I loved could truly have been the one.

The thanks part of this story goes out to family and friends who supported me even though my decision, from the outside, may have looked morally questionable. Even though this was the case, they understood that I really had no choice and that I had to be true to myself.

The reflection part is obviously remembering the story and pondering the apology I wish I could give for the pain that I caused my friend two years ago. I truly meant no harm, but in a choice between hurting a friend and eternal questioning of myself, I felt I had no other choice.

I hope that when I leave, you can use these words to improve your own time here at UCSD. I also hope that you make the best of your time at this school, because these years will be gone before you know it, and you can’t do anything to get them back.

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