Be great alone, or an inspiration with an army


As I sat down to write my final column for The Collegian, I found myself unable to think of anything to write. I wanted to write something different from the typical “senior graduating” column.

Then, something dawned on me: I hate school.

I was the kid in elementary school who would get in teachers’ faces because I despised authority, 

I was the kid that no one ever imagined hated school. Despite my hatred for authority, I always got straight A’s and did what was asked of me because I knew it was expected.

This got me thinking why I went into higher education in the first place. Why would I force myself to do something I hated? None of my older brothers went to a four-year college, but I did. Why?

Despite all these questions, a different thought crept inside my head: the memory of a former coworker of mine.

This person always told me how great and inspiring I was and helped me through my high school troubles. She is someone I like to consider my older sister.  

I reflected on how I would not have become the person I am today without her. I thought about how certain individuals can truly impact our lives.

And then it hit me why I am graduating college in a week and a half.

I am graduating college for everyone who pushed me to achieve more. I am graduating college to show everyone who helped me throughout my life that their efforts were not wasted and that they truly made an impact on me.

I am graduating for my best friend, who told me to never change and who is always there to cheer me on after my failures, whether it is in life or on the wrestling mat.

I am graduating for two guys back home, who never let heartbreak get me down and who could always put a smile on my face no matter the situation. These two guys have stood beside me the longest, always making me stand with them.

I am graduating for a recently-made friend, who is always willing to give up hours of his time just to talk to me. He is a guy who helps me realize all I can be in life.

I am graduating for “my person.” If it was not for them standing beside me throughout the hardest year of my life, I could have never done this. Their unconditional, never-ending love and support got me by.

I am graduating for three of the greatest guys I have ever met (thanks to college). They pushed me to stay in school and to always do what is best for me—I consider these three brothers.

I am graduating for my siblings, who are always watching me live my life and who are always ready to be there for me at the drop of a pin. If it was not for my siblings coming together to help me rise through tragedy last semester, I would not be here.

I am graduating for my little sister, who never let me forget my worth in life. She is always there to share with me the triumphs and failures of my journey. I am her biggest fan and I know she is my biggest fan as well.

Lastly, I am graduating for the two people who truly got me to where I am today: my parents. They dealt with an angry little kid who hated everything and somehow turned him into a man who would give the shirt off his back to a complete stranger. They put so much time and effort into me and I know I could never repay them. Knowing I make them proud is all I want in life.

Without the individuals in my life who drove me to be the best me, I would be nothing. Without my friends and family, I would be a hollow shell of a man.

I think, to succeed in life, companionship is necessary. Someone could potentially be great on their own, but with an army behind them, they could become more than just themselves. They can become an inspiration to others.

We are nothing without others in this life. Friends and family are what keep us sane and are the ones who cheer us on through every step of this chaotic life.

So, while I walk across the stage May 7 to receive my diploma, I am going to be thinking about all those individuals who made a difference in my life and who gave me Constant love and encouragement.

For all of you who never stopped believing in me, thank you. I will continue to improve myself for you all. #constantcollegian


Jordan Bierbrauer is the Opinion Editor for The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected].