I was sitting in the back of Langford paying half-attention to some supposedly famous bald guy telling lame jokes on stage. Then this kid showed up and within minutes taught me what there is to love about Billy Joel.
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Last week, at a cookout on my birthday, I was chatting with some college kids when I caught myself saying, “Back when I was in college…” It felt vaguely absurd to be referring to college in the past tense. Although I don’t feel old, there’s no denying that this chapter of my life has been written.
If I had to be philosophical, I’d say these past four years can be summed up as a struggle to find contentment. The Danes have always said that the key to happiness is to manage expectations. I get it now. We tend to hold our friends and our parents to astronomical expectations. But even these people are fatally flawed, and there’s no sense in imagining otherwise.
College has dealt me the most elated highs and the most trying lows. But when I look back, most of what I feel is awe and humility. Any regret I feel is tempered by the fact that life lessons are only truly learned the hard way.
There’s one particular memory from the last weeks of school that seems important in retrospect. I recall walking out of my dorm one day in late April to find workers building a stage and planting rows of chairs across Alumni Lawn. That night, my friends and I sat on the stage smoking cigars. I remember gazing out at the endless rows of empty seats and wondering which one would be mine on graduation day. And in those moments between smoke rings, I felt ready to move on.
Who would’ve thunk?
The fact that Fox is running negative coverage on this matter just means the administration is probably doing the right thing.
Wesley Clark (retired US General) & Jon Huntsman (former governor of Utah, US ambassador to China, and Republican presidential candidate) speak at Vanderbilt - 3/20/2012
WC: “Three or Four years from now, you won’t hear about Afghanistan. It’ll be history.”
JH: “Civil war [in Afghanistan] is inevitable. When we leave, we will create a vacuum.” Pakistan, Iran, and Russia will joust for influence.
JH: “We can’t have a foreign policy unless we get our house in order.”
JH: “What surprises me most about China? The insecurity.”