Gillaspie takes ‘Out of the Box’ approach to her conclusion

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Back in sixth grade, my English teacher told me that conclusions are the neat little bows that wrap up essays. I begged to differ. My conclusions were long and awkward. I was the dweeb in grade school who turned in 14 pages of work when only two paragraphs were required. Comments like “Too wordy,” “Tone it down,” and “Please stop writing novels for the love of everything holy” constantly appeared on my papers.

I likened my conclusions to heavy-duty Scotch packing tape: exhaustive and tedious. I struggle with conclusions because they signify the end, and “the end” is a hard concept for me to grasp. As tough as it is for me to admit, I am frighteningly close to the end of my time here at Marian, and this is my final column.

Naturally, I put off writing this column for a few days (weeks). Though I’m a procrastinator, born and raised (0 putting off things is how I spend most of my days 0), this was unlike me. Usually, I jump at the chance to write my column, but this time, it was different.

It hit me like books in Mr. Tom Baker’s Tunnel of Terror that this would be my last Marian column. This is the last time to talk about things like my weird gum obsession, my toasty yoga experience, and my entrapment in the DMV (Don’t Move, Victims).

I feel so honored to have been granted my own column this year. Next year, I am going about as far away from the journalism field as possible. People actually asked me why I took journalism instead of additional science classes. They did not see the point of journalism for a girl going into aerospace engineering.

I took journalism because I love writing. Journalism taught me how to network, take criticism, work under stress, interview, and approach disagreements. Marian Journalism helped me develop my voice and love my school.

During the course of my years spent at Marian, I have learned several things. For one, writing a column dedicated entirely to gum was bad luck. A couple weeks afterward, I found out I have temporomandibular joint disorder, which is fancy talk for “popping jaw from chewing too much gum.” I may create a GoFundMe and will be accepting hefty donations.

I have also learned that my Marian skirt is the equivalent of my grandpa’s hankie. Next year, who knows where I will wipe my hands? I might even have to … wash them. *Gasps.*

For all you freshmen perpetually waiting for rides, embrace it. Believe me, you are going to miss rides with your parents one day. Also, don’t be too mad at your mom when she’s late to pick you up. Waiting outside a Prep dance for your ride is a good way to meet other frosh.

Sophomores, the slump can be overcome. This is the year of your sweet 16, after all. Push through, push through. The end is in sight.

Junior year is a beast at Marian. However, it is also the year when friendships solidify and parents grant more freedom. *Teachers and administrators, please skip the following sentence.* Juniors, though homework is exceptionally important, remember that sometimes time spent with friends and family should take precedence over time spent on homework.

This year, I have learned several more things.

Honors Independent Research is simultaneously the most fantastic and the most horrendous class offered at Marian.

Grocery shopping like a suburban mom on a Friday night can actually be pretty fun, especially when it’s with your actual mom.

Receiving a genuine compliment and/or hug from a teacher is one of the best feelings ever.

The freshmen in my Weight Training and Conditioning class are incredibly rad.

Rapping on top of a car during Field Night is surprisingly liberating.

Leaving Marian is harder than I ever anticipated.

Even though this is my concluding column, I don’t consider it the end of my writing career. That’s melodramatic. In fact, I have a future filled with writing assignments ahead of me. Term papers and lab reports, here I come!

When I think of goodbyes, I like the philosophy of “Out of the Box,” my favorite television show as a kindergartener. Though Tony and Viv tell their viewers farewell, they include the caveat “until we meet again.” Simply put, goodbye doesn’t always have to mean forever. As I prepare to move out of my box to Indiana next year, I leave you with this.

0 So long, farewell, to you my friiieends. Goodbye for now, until we meet again. It’s been great to play and sing together in the box, and now it’s time to say goodbye. *Rub hands, snap, clap.* So long, farewell to you my friends. Goodbye, for now, until we meet agaaiiiinnnn! 0

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