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Finding wings to fly solo

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Ryan MacDonald, Editor in Chief

Ryan MacDonald, Editor in Chief

I do not have 800 more words to offer my readers. My soul is overworked. My mind has been raked of all its good ideas. And unfortunately, I have waited until the very last moment to begin writing this column.

I suppose this mentality is something most graduating students experience, so my issues are not unique. The stress is boiling over and even though I know the end is near, I cannot do this anymore.

I have been at a loss for words. I have struggled to wrap my mind around any sort of (fill in blank). The worst part about these days of limbo is that no one seems to understand. I receive words of motivation from some individuals while others make attempts at calming my fears but fail.

I thought my friends who are enduring similar situations would be more understanding, but they are not. Professors have been somewhat helpful but they even come up short in assisting in this process.

I have wandered around the campus during these last few days with an open mind in hopes that something would grab my attention­ – something symbolic or ironic. I searched for something I could carry with me when I leave this school and city. Though it may seem cliché, I took some time to appreciate my surroundings.

I was sitting at the intersection of Third and C streets in my time of contemplation, and a car drove by. Its engine roared and rumbled. I watched the car drive by, and as it continued down the road, I saw a large group of birds fly away from the roof of the fire department.

Suddenly, the sky was filled with about 200 small, little black birds. They were perched on their look­out point for several minutes, but when they became flustered by the loud noise, they were forced to move out of their comfort zone.

They flew in unison, and though some of them strayed from the group, the majority of them stayed together. They flapped their wings and soared into the air.

Within seconds, the birds had to find a new place to sit and relax, and maybe when they found their place in the sun, they would not have as many friends to sit with, but at least it would be something new to look at.

I am sure some of them would find new trees to chirp in, while others would continue with their flight until they found a place where they could create a comfortable nest.

Some birds probably did not find their way back to the group, and others may not have taken off from the roof. Those birds stayed because they did not need to fly yet; they remained on the roof and waited for the brave ones to return.

As I watched the birds fly away into the sunset, I thought about my group of classmates and our next journey. Soon, we will be flying through the air and searching for a new place to sit. Next, I thought about all of those birds who have to remain on the roof and wait until it is their turn to fly away to bigger and better places.

For some reason, this moment struck me as being the poetic and symbolic moment I needed. It came at the perfect time. It reminded me of all of the things and people I have encountered in the last few years and how we have been perched on our own roof.

Without the company of so many wonderful birds (err…individuals), I would not have been able to stay up here for so long; I would have flown away. I would have become bored and unmotivated, and I thank all my friends who have stayed up on the roof with me and pushed me to new heights and greater achievements.

We have chirped together and practiced flying together, and in the next few days, we will get a chance to test our wings. Let’s hope the training we have gotten has prepared us for this flight.

To those who will remain on the roof for the next few years, do not worry because eventually I will get lonely, and I will return to visit. I need all of your assistance to fly; you provide me with the confidence I need to take flight. You will be fine without me. Trust your wings!

Ryan MacDonald, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at macdonar@ulv.edu.

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