I don’t want to write this blog post. Not because I am lazy or because I am too busy, but because by writing this blog post, I am allowing myself to close a book that I have been writing for four years. It’s hard. While writing this blog post, there is about a %150 chance I’ll cry. I’m an ugly crier.
K-State has given me so much, that I don’t think I can even begin to do it justice when I describe the place it has in my heart. It has given me the highest highs, the toughest heart breaks, the best of memories and even better friends. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve laughed a lot. But most importantly I’ve grown a lot. Here’s my time capsule of the best four years of my life and what I have come to realize. Enjoy. (This is little freshmen Sam, who had NO idea what he got himself into)
Family Means a Lot
Starting off, I would like to say I was born and raised a wildcat. It was either go to K-State or get written out of a few wills. But one thing I never fully grasped was just how much of deeper connection I was going to have with my family because of K-State. I remember going to the Fiesta Bowl and tailgating with the family, and just realizing how lucky I was to have a family so filled with pride.
I would like to dedicate this paragraph to my brother, Alex. One of my all-time favorite memories of my brother was when I told him I was going to commit to K-State. He was the very first person I told. He was so pumped he jumped on me and started punching and shaking me (which is pretty on-brand for Alex showing affection). Little did I know that within the next four years, we would have grown even closer, traveled across the US for the ‘cats, and realized just how identical we actually look. Thank you, K-State, for making my first friend my best friend. And thank you, Alex, for always being there for me. I love you, man.
Eh, Why Not?
The amount of times my parents called me and asked where I was and the answer was somewhere other than Kansas was a lot. I mean, I spent a good chunk of my four years on the road to watch the ‘cats. Here are a few things I learned from doing so:
1) If someone asks you to go to an away game, you say yes.
2) You only wear purple.
3) You only pack purple.
4) If there is a Whataburger or In-N-Out in said city, or along the way, you stop to eat there.
5) It’s not a bad idea to make a dope playlist, this playlist MUST include the fight song.
6) There will be one song that you REALLY jam to. This is now the song of your people. (Year 3000 – Molly I’m talking to you | Where They From – This one is for Jeff and Jess)
7) There will be a time where you are so bored you create games. Like, counting how many hawks you see.
8) No one, and I mean NO ONE, can compare the Pride of Wildcat Land. Our band is bomb.
9) If you are in a K-State section you sing the Wabash at kickoff.
10) Win or lose you are still glad you came, and just as proud as ever for your team.
11) Even if you don’t have any concrete plans to travel, there is always someone with an open seat. Even if it’s during your 9:30 and they are leaving at noon, you can make it work. Trust me on this.
The Two Biggest Things I’ve Gained: My Passions and My Pals
Here's to everyone that had a hand in sculpting my four years to be four of so much meaning. The thing that gets me more choked up than anything else is thinking that in a month I won’t have the amazing group of people surrounding me that I have come so accustomed to. So here it goes.
Thank you, John, Jessica, Kiley and Cole for seeing so much potential in me and trusting me to recruit wildcats. Having the opportunity to tell people how K-State was the perfect place for me, was incredible. It will ALWAYS have a place in my heart. I won’t let you down, I promise.
Thank you, Sara Quinn, GTM Sportswear and the K-State Superstore for allowing me to grow my passions for graphic design. It was a part of my life I didn’t know I was missing. It completely shook up my life in the best way, and I am incredibly thankful for that.
Thank you, Debra Skidmore and Steve Smethers for always being the friendly smile, the sassy remark and the constant drive for improvement. You two mean the absolute world to me, and I cannot imagine the journalism school without you. Your passions for your students is evident and I will always make a priority to say hello when I am back in town. There was not a single campus tour that I did not talk about you two by name when I was bragging about our professors. You showed me that good journalism can always change the world. Thank you, truly.
Lastly, my pals. Far too numerous to name. You somehow put up with me. You laughed at my laugh, you never said no to McDonald’s. You’ve seen me at my worst and for some unbeknownst reason still talk to me. You Wabashed with me walking down the streets of San Antonio. You’ve tweeted at me whenever I was casually 10 minutes late to class. You’ve listened to Aaron’s Party by Arron Carter too many times to count. Whenever I think of a place I love full well, I will always think of the games, the buildings and the music but I will always think of you all first. Here’s to many more years of friendship.
I wish I took more pictures. I wish I took more time to see the sunsets. I wish our student section would learn how to clap on the beat. But most of all I wish I could do these four years all over again. Here’s to the real world, and knowing that I am fully prepared to succeed—all thanks to a spot that I love full well.
Hail, Hail, Hail. Alma Mater.
Kansas State University, Class of 2017