Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

What to Learn When Your College Experience is Cut Short

Courtesy of Furman Athletics

I toured Furman on St. Patrick’s Day during my junior year of high school. My college counselor suggested I look at Furman, as it fit what I was looking for in a university. Upon first sight of Furman’s campus, I knew this was where I wanted to be.

Five years to the exact day, my senior year at Furman is cut short: classes have moved online, students have moved out, and end of year events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I was first connected to The Paladin during my first week of freshman year. After writing for my high school newspaper, I was eager to become involved with what Furman had to offer. An ambitious freshman, in the very first staff meeting I expressed interest in taking on the vacant role of News Editor. The Editor-in-Chief stopped me mid-sentence and told me that she was looking for someone older and with more experience for the position. 

At first, I was embarrassed for even showing my interest. After all, it was my first week at Furman, and I had yet to experience the true rigor of a college fall semester. However, I decided to work on my writing skills and I wrote for every issue from then on out. I learned the ropes, gained the experience, and over the years I gained more leadership within the organization. 

An important concept I learned in my time at college is to not be afraid. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to add on a second major. Don’t be afraid to show interest in a leadership position. 

It’s evident that newspapers across the country are dwindling as technology continues to take over. But something this staff has accomplished over these past four years is the conversation brought to this campus time and time again. Students, faculty, and staff alike have whispered about the latest opinion The Paladin has put out to the community. Our presence is known. 

I am confident that The Paladin will continue to critique, analyze, and report in an efficient, and timely manner. The ideas and thoughts for the future of The Paladin are exciting, and I know Evan Myers, the soon-to-be Editor-in-Chief,  has big plans ahead.  

I always expected myself to focus on my experiences with The Paladin while I wrote this final piece. However, with all of the uncertainty that has occurred this semester, I keep reflecting on my time at Furman as a whole. 

To the class of 2020: I know each and every one of you is grieving over this abrupt end to our life at Furman. I’ve found comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. This pain and sadness just further prove what insightful and positive experiences we have had in these four (well, 3.67) years on campus. 

Something I have learned from this whole fiasco is to never take anything for granted. When I left my class in Hipp Hall Thursday afternoon before spring break, I had no idea it would be the last class I would attend as a Furman student. 

I am numb to the fact that I’ll never have a meal in the Dining Hall again despite my moaning and groaning about the food. I’ll never sit with my friends at our favorite table in the library that we claimed as our own. I’ll never again walk past the Bell Tower late at night after submitting The Paladin to press. This chapter of our lives has now closed, and it closed with a few more pages still to go. 

Seniors, we may not get the proper LDOC to conclude our time at Furman, but you can bet that the next time I get the chance, I’ll be jumping in those fountains.

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