It feels weird, really weird, being here. I know I must not be the only one who feels this way either.
As I write my first article for the UWM Post on this deceivingly beautiful day here in the food-court section of the student union, I am observing the flow of students move by, heading to their next destinations. I am overcome with an immense sense of gratitude for this seemingly normal occurrence that I am able to share with each and every one of the people who’s lives I am blessed to be a part of- even for a meaningless second. To me, everybody here has worked their entire lives in order to make it to this moment, each second leading them closer to their moment.
And just like that, they are gone- some never to be a part of my life again. Because of the culmination of experiences that I have been a part of, I have learned how easy it is to ignore the small things in life. It is these small every day blunders, I believe, that eventually add up to create the biggest moments of our lives. This is why I want to take a step back and evaluate some of these moments, because maybe I’m not be the only one that may be able to learn from them.
You see, I am an Operation Enduring Freedom army veteran. Before that, I was a graduate of a two-year acting conservatory program called the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, located in Manhattan. Today, I am a transfer theatre major also participating in ROTC and aiming for Law School down the road. While I’m here, I might as well also proclaim that I’d like to earn the position of General in the Unites States Army someday.
I don’t want to get too deep on my first article, I just want to let you know that even after being deployed for almost 7 months, I still feel there is no time when a fart isn’t funny. But at the same time, I may have had a very different deployment experience than many of the other Veterans that are also choosing UWM to continue their studies.
Just because I am a veteran doesn’t mean I am different than anyone else. Each and every one of us is the culmination of small, every day blunders that have eventually added up to bring us here, and will eventually bring us to tomorrow. No one has had a more difficult life than ourselves, because that is all we have to go off of. We have all been an outcast at some point, and there must be at least someone out there that has believed in us. We have all found something to believe in and have had moments that have questioned those beliefs. We have all been scared, lonely, and happy. We have all had an “F” it moment from time to time. It’s small similar thoughts like these and also larger ones, like that we are forced to accept the idea that the kids being born now will read about 9/11 as we read about the Pearl Harbor attacks.
We have more in common than one would think, but it is how we are affected by the small moments in-between that makes us unique. I want to share what makes me unique, but I wouldn’t be able to do that without sharing some of these moments with others that may have taught me a thing or two. But hey, it’s college. Whatever that means, I’ll be here to share with you about my experience each and every step of the way. I apologize in advance if this gets emotional; it’s just a part of who I am.