Editor recounts ULV lessons

Jennifer Parsons, Editor in Chief
Jennifer Parsons, Editor in Chief

I was told I could not write a “goodbye” last column. Of course, I enjoy defying rules and causing upheaval, so this is my “goodbye” column.

Just kidding. Sort of. Every year, before my friends and I go home for the treacherous summers, where it is back to parents nagging and college gossip withdrawals, I e-mail a “What I learned this year” message to my closest friends.

Sadly enough, yet excitingly, I will not be here for that end of the year inspirational note. Instead I will be in Greece studying abroad.

My friend, Mish, insists that I continue this tradition, although earlier. So the following are my words of wisdom reflecting on the last three years at ULV.

I came to this school alone and stepped completely out of my comfort zone. I could be who I wanted to be, with no misconceptions or first impressions.

With the adjustment to college life, I lost touch with old friends and met many new people. I would not exactly call them all friends. In the beginning everyone was a “friend,” but the going got tough and the real friends got tougher.

Although I am still gullible and believe most anything, I am wary of whom I trust.

Remembering Camp Pilgrim Pines and the first few weeks of school reminds me of everyone’s vulnerability. We all walked around La Verne with little smiles on our faces. It became understood who had the real smiles and whose were fake.

I figured out my real friends are the ones that listen and the ones that I know I can call any hour, any day, for anything.

I have also learned that if I do not want anyone in my business at ULV, I tell no one, except Jaime, my best friend.

I have accepted ULV as being a miniature soap opera and I admit I am part of it. That is OK, though, because with the gossip worth knowing, I differentiate truth from lies by asking that person directly.

Over the past few years, we have had our flings with the La Verne boys. Mish, Katerina, Kelly and Jaime, I know that we put ourselves in situations that hurt our hearts and strain our brains, but we are good people. We have strong souls and good intentions and one day, we will find contentment. And then we can look back and laugh (as if we do not now) at all these bleeps that screwed us over.

It is strange to think when I thought of college boys, I pictured MEN in polo shirts and sweaters with glasses, real intelligent, interesting and mature. Funny thing is, they looked exactly like the guys I went to high school with.

I have come to the conclusion (even more so than in high school) that friends are the most important thing and boys should never get in between that. They do not matter. They are not the ones that will be there for me when I need them.

I figured out college is not that hard, just time-consuming, and requires effort and determination. It is not about being “smart,” it is about being motivated.

I learned getting involved and taking the lead is the only way I will get what I want out of life. I stopped waiting for things to happen and started making it happen. I realized I am in control of my own destiny. I can only work on myself and hope that others do the same.

There are few teachers in life that leave a lasting impression. Those are not the ones who give the As, the ones who give the hardest tests, nor are they the ones who have a doctorate from Stanford. The impressionable teacher is the one who not only taught me the most effectively, but was my friend and mentor also.

Also, I have learned to really appreciate my family because I know they will always be there for me. Unlike buddies from high school, I do not have to keep in touch to pick up right where I left off.

College taught me to appreciate my mom’s rules and her concern even if she was overbearing. Curfews kept me out of trouble and allowed time for sleep.

I thought that after college I would be so smart and know so much. After three years I am smarter, but it is not because of the teachers, or the books or the grades. No, it was the experiences and the connections that were made at this little college with big opportunities that caused me to grow. For that I am grateful.

Jennifer Parsons, a junior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at parsonsj@ulv.edu.

Latest Stories

Related articles

Being a morning person or night owl may be hard wired

A recent informal survey found that 12 out of 20 students at the University of La Verne prefer morning classes to night classes.

Commentary: College fantasy vs. college reality

As you grow up, you often hear the phrase, “College will be the best time of your life.” 

Students dispel the myth of college life

Social media, movies and TV shows create high expectations of what college is like, highlighting the social aspects of partying or hanging out with friends but ignoring the stressful parts like exams and assignments. 

Campus resources can ease the stress of finals

With finals coming fast, there is no need to push yourself to your breaking point due to the stress of the end of the semester. Everyone is in the same mindset of ‘crunch-time’ so just know that you are not alone.