The Decaturian

Thoughts of a Second Semester Senior

Rory Arnold

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A few years back, the Millikin football team got into trouble. We were forced to run laps upon laps around the track in single digit weather at five in the morning. If we were caught walking, they’d scream at us to do pushups instead.

During this two hour duration, an upperclassman caught up with me, saying, “Hey Rory, let’s keep pace with one another.” His idea being that if we started to get tired or falter, we’d grab the other guy and pull him forward. Attempting to keep our minds off the pain, we began talking and getting to know each other better.

I remember at one point asking him, “How does it feel to be on the brink of senior year?” to which he replied, “The days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days.”

As the days pass, I start to realize they’ve been weeks, and that soon I’ll do as he eventually did: graduate and move on with my life alone, nobody grasping my shirt and pulling me forward in times of despair. This has prompted me to keep track of all the good times I’ve had with the people at Millikin, both present and past.

During my freshman year, one of my friends literally defecated himself during class at West Town. Hurrying out of the room, he went all the way back home, showered, changed, and made it back before the lecture had ended.

As a sophomore, a friend of mine and the Millikin community, Tucker Schwengel, passed away in a car accident. I remember at one point, he snuck me and my friend into Lock Stock & Barrel when we weren’t yet twenty-one, so we could drink with him. His ever joyful manner will never be forgotten.

My junior year included a moment when The Woods security called the Decatur Police over to my apartment for a noise complaint when we were having a birthday party. Instead of getting into trouble, the police officers made fun of the security guards with us and wished my roommate a happy birthday, embarrassing the pseudo-security officers who were always trying to prove a point.

Senior year is still going on, and one thing I’ve noticed is how things have changed over four years. The old Richard Treats University Center is gone, the Staley Library has been updated, a new Theatre Center is in the works, but the people haven’t changed.

My friends and I are still getting into trouble, the faculty is still helping students towards a better future, I’m still writing goofy columns for the Decaturian, and the clock is still ticking . . .

Soon all of this will be gone. The laps upon laps I’ve made around campus will cease with the shrieking of a whistle. All the sweat, all the memories, the late nights studying, drinking beers, hanging with friends, will be soaked into my sweatshirt, now a tiresome weight upon my shoulders.

In a few short months, Millikin will no longer be my home. The people around me will no longer be my family. I’ll have to move on to a world where skipping all responsibilities each day can get me fired, where bills and paychecks measure the weeks of my life, and where I’ll have to prioritize friends and work, not the other way around.

Until then, I’m going to enjoy my weeks and embrace my days, not letting the administration scare me with a fine, or the ever-ticking time bomb ruin the memories I still have yet to have. Someday soon when I start to run alone on a track, I know the lessons I’ve learned at Millikin will be there, pulling my shirt towards success.

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Thoughts of a Second Semester Senior