Farewell Tour: Part 1

Apr 252006
Authors: Ryan Chapman

In an attempt to make the finale to my Collegian career memorable, nostalgic and poignant without sacrificing the satire and sarcasm my readers have come to know, I have developed a list of the most important things I have learned in college. This list is by no means comprehensive of everything I have been taught, experienced, witnessed or decided during the gap of time between high school commencement and now. It is rather a “best of” list which I feel summarizes and concludes the experience most of us will refer to as “college” for the rest of our lives.

Due to the depth of this list and its accompanying explanations, I have been forced to split this column in two. Therefore, my farewell column will be a two-part series which will fill my remaining two weeks of writing. So when you finish this column today be sure to mark your calendars for next Wednesday’s conclusion. But enough with the formalities, lets get to it.

Things I have learned while at CSU:

1. Politics are important: I don’t think it is any surprise to people that college tends to be the time in one’s life when the matters of the world tend to become more important. As a high school student I couldn’t have cared less about funding for education, tax policy or even war. It wasn’t until my freshman year here at CSU when I saw the hippies fasting for peace in the LSC plaza that I realized those things had an impact on us, too – not just the old fogies.

2. Voting is not a waste of time: In somewhat of a follow-up on item one, I have also realized that voting is our simplest tool for creating change in the world. Even if you vote for the green party your vote still counts – kind of. And even if groups like the New Voters Project are caught throwing away republican voter registrations, it is still a fundamental right that we must never neglect.

3. Liberals get angrier when told the truth than when lied to: Now I realize that this lesson was first taught by Rush Limbaugh, but I have found it to be fundamentally true on numerous occasions during my career with the Collegian. When I use facts and statistics to back up my claims the backlash is almost always fast and angry. For example, when I used information straight from the federal tax code to explain why the rich are the only ones getting tax cuts because they are the only ones paying taxes; it was one of my most bitter reader responses ever.

4. Hating someone for their political ideals is ridiculous: These lessons really seem to be flowing together now. But seriously, ask any of my friends who align themselves left of the political center and even they will tell you that I am not that bad of a guy in real life. And this goes for anyone, not just myself, whose opinions you disagree with. I even have a fool-proof solution that you too now can use. If you disagree with someone’s stance on politics, just don’t talk about politics; it is pretty easy actually. Just talk about how bad the Dallas Stars suck. We can all agree on that.

I regret to cut you off here, but numbers five through 10 will have to wait for next week. Remember to come back next Wednesday for Ryan Chapman’s last column in the Collegian. It will be a day that many of you lament and even more of you treasure, but that, I promise, you won’t forget.

Ryan Chapman is a senior marketing major. His column runs on Wednesday in the Collegian.

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