Marianne Hale: Bittersweet goodbyes

Marianne Hale

Marianne Hale

I’m tired of passing on the torch. I’ve spent almost four years of my life losing sleep and barely making (and sometimes missing) deadlines at the Herald, and I don’t know if I’m ready to give that up.

It’s been a little tough to watch a new batch of Heraldians start to replace me and my fellow graduating seniors in leadership roles.

As I listen to them make plans for next semester, I’m trying to act on behalf of the grown-up part of me, the part that says, “Congratulations! You’re all going to be great!”

But then there’s the not-so-grown-up part of me, the part that thinks, “It’s not going to be as good as when we did it.”

It’s that same bitter part of me that comes out when I walk past Minton Hall, a place I used to call home, and see seemingly carefree freshmen lounging beneath the trees. I don’t know when I turned into my 82-year-old grandfather, but somehow I find myself thinking things like, “Back in my day, there was a Taco Bell in DUC” and “You kids just don’t know how good you’ve got it.”

But I shouldn’t pay too much attention to that part of me for two reasons. One, I suspect that it’s the same part of me that wanted to listen to Blink 182’s “I Miss You” on repeat in high school. And two, that part of me is wrong.

The Herald will go on without me. It will be just as good, and as much as it hurts to type, it might be even better. The same goes for life on the Hill, where, believe it or not, things had been happening for more than 100 years before we graduating seniors even stepped foot on campus.

Yes, we will probably miss WKU, but being bitter has kept me from facing that one very big, very awesome elephant in the room: the future. 

The Dr. Phil part of me (and this is a very small part of me, I hope) thinks that it’s easier for us to cling to the past when we’re uncertain about the future. I’ve always had another semester to look forward to, but I have no idea what I’ll be doing when WKU starts the fall semester in August. Is that scary? Definitely. Is it exciting? Absolutely.

I might be a journalist, a cupcake artist or an employee at that Harry Potter theme park in Florida, all of which would fit my interests quite nicely.

But I won’t be a Herald employee. I won’t be a WKU student.

It’s time for us to drag our lagging feet out of the past and jump into that great, big awaiting future.

And it’s time for me to tell all those up-and-coming Herald leaders  congratulations. I mean it. You really are going to be great.