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Video Editor Brandon Giesey, (from left), Editor in Chief Sam Malone and Sports Editor Marcel Carrasco laugh together Oct. 12 at the Northern Star office. Giesey and Carrasco will graduate Sunday.

Despite obstacles, make the most out of college

Brandon Giesey | Video Editor

My college career is one that has experienced many ups and downs. I started my time in community college, transferred to a school in the Southeastern Conference and then ended up back in my home state of Illinois. College has been a rollercoaster for me, but the key is, it doesn’t have to be that way for everyone.

When highschoolers enter their senior year, many of them don’t know who they want to be or who they will be. These seniors visit schools and are forced to make a decision that will forever alter their lives.

Now if those seniors are like me, some of them will have a school in mind from the beginning, and once they visit that school, they will have their mind set on it. Without visiting another campus in the world, they will commit a substantial amount of money to that school, and that is flat out a mistake. This system forces kids who do not fully understand themselves or their lives to make a decision that alters their financial status long term.

College is a place for many people to grow and find themselves as well as build a career; Without proper guidance, some choose places that aren’t meant for them. I made this mistake myself, and, luckily for me, I found a new place to call home that welcomed me. I came to NIU and made a real impact in the broadcast television department. The college closed the center down, and then I ultimately ended up here at the Northern Star. I made friends, bonded with great minds and found meaning in my final semester of college when many gave up on me.

My college experience was flawed, but flawed in all the perfect ways. I made mistakes, and they led me to an understanding that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I went away, and it cost me. I hope others don’t need to experience that, but if they end up with the same results I have, college will have treated them extremely well.

 

Thankful for those who have aided my journey

Marcel Carrasco | Sports Editor

Dedicated to Gabriela Gutierrez.

There isn’t much to say. So I’ll start with a thank you.

Thank you to the Northern Star, and thank you to all of my peers. Through all of the late nights editing and early mornings writing, I managed to survive a hectic semester. It wasn’t easy, but nothing really is. I worked my way up at the Star, and, after two semesters of being a contributor, I earned the sports editor position. I was in way over my head, but with a strong sports staff and a supportive editorial board, I progressed every day. There was nothing better than walking into an office full of stressed, exhausted and malnourished students. To be honest, it felt comforting knowing there were people in the office whom I could share my struggles with.

I was always a critic of the saying “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” but in some way I believe it now. The Star set the foundation for what I want to become and where I want to go. Even through countless days of restlessness and sleep deprivation, I stayed focused on my goal: being the best journalist I can be.

This is only the beginning of a long journey, and I can hold my head high knowing I gave this job all of my effort and time. Sure, my classwork took a slight hit, and when I was supposed to be reading T. S. Eliot or Joan Didion, I was reading the AP Stylebook or editing some of the best work I have seen the sports staff write.

Like anything in life, I regret not doing more. However, I know once it’s time for my replacement to take charge, he will take this section one step closer toward being the best. This Northern Star crew is amazing, and every single person has their own voice. Each one with their own strengths and, frankly, weaknesses. Yet with effort and dedication, they improve.

Above all, I would like to thank my family. They have been my rock through this journey. After a two-year pause between academics, I jumped right into NIU with the intention of starting all over. I knew I wanted to graduate but not before taking my time to learn everything I could.

Now, when I walk across that stage, I can say I am the proud son of immigrant parents who risked everything for me to get here. This is their American Dream, and words, money or actions will never be enough to repay their struggles.

To my parents

Ama y apa, les agradezco por todo el esfuerzo y sacrificio que han rendido para que yo llege a este momento. Nunca en mi vida les podrá repagar todo lo que me han dado, pero cada dia intentare hacerlos orgullosos y ojala en el dia de mi graduacion sera uno de esos intentos. Los amo con toda mi alma. Gracias.

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