Well, I made it. I am finally writing an advice column as a graduating senior.
I have plenty of advice, like explore all of the buildings on campus and walk around without headphones in, so you can hear the world around you. Look at the University of Memphis bucket list and pick at least five things to do, or do things and realize you can mark them off the bucket list. Always recycle. Do things that will make you happy when you look back at your time here.
These past four years, I cheered on the Memphis Tigers football team as they beat Ole Miss at the Liberty Bowl.
I spent a class picking sweet potatoes from the TIGUrS garden and was appalled when the idea of paving over the garden was introduced.
I spent two hours in the U of M art museum looking at the Juvenile-in-Justice exhibit by Richard Ross that somehow shook me at my core.
I ran through the U of M fountain at midnight barefoot, but I would recommend wearing shoes because my friend almost lost a toe to the grates in the fountain.
I watched students stand up for what they believe in by protesting and marching, and some of it was led by things I helped publish in this paper.
These are things I think of when I look back on my years here, and I want you to be able to look back and be proud to be a Memphis Tiger.
But the main thing I want to leave you with is this: find your place here.
Do not go through college just going to classes without interacting with others. Know what you are passionate about and find a way to explore that passion.
Maybe for you it is student government, Stonewall Tigers, a sorority or the Muslim Student Association. I found my place in 210 Meeman — better known as The Daily Helmsman newsroom.
I found people who were as passionate about informing the campus community as I was. I learned and tried to teach and met people who I will remember for the rest of my life, people who I know will go on to become some of the best damn journalist this world has seen.
These are the people who sat around and made tough decisions about writing important stories for the campus. These are the ones who took criticism from teachers, administration, fellow students and other people who just were not happy with our paper, but never backed down from doing what they thought was right. They taught me. They listened to my opinions and respected me. They inspired me to be a better person and a better journalist.
To these people, and you know who you are, thank you for helping me find my place. Thank you for believing in me.